World Tea expo offers a different flavor in Las Vegas

Bar and Restaurant Expo-goers this week may have noticed what looked like an out-of-place trade event focused on a historic drink: tea. But that seemingly mismatched show at the Las Vegas Convention Center was by design, organizers said.

Questex acquired the World Tea Conference + Expo from Informa two years ago with an eye toward aligning tea with the fast-growing nonalcoholic beverage and health and wellness sectors.

“Customers going into bars or restaurants are really dissatisfied with the options for non-alcoholic drinks – sodas, high-sugar juices, that sort of thing,” Tim McLucas, vice president of the bar and restaurant group for Questex, said Tuesday. “Tea is a very overlooked option for the consumer. The idea here was to make sure we were providing opportunity for both segments to overlap. We certainly have a lot of bars, restaurants and hotels that are interested in tea and tea-related products so it seemed like a natural marriage.”

McLucas hopes to double the tea expo next year by bringing back international companies that avoided traveling this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also expects domestic growth to occur once Questex communicates its nonalcoholic beverage strategy to the national market, he said.

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