Thursday, May 30, 2024

Australian-grown Japanese tea brand Oi Ocha signs partnership with baseball superstar

Baseball superstar Shohei Ohtani has stepped up to the plate to debut in a whole new league – Aussie supermarket shelves.

The Japanese star, who signed the largest contract in professional sports history with the LA Dodgers last year, has signed on as official ambassador with green tea brand Oi Ocha.

Oi Ocha is the flagship green tea brand of the iconic Japanese company Ito En. “It has clocked more than 43 billion cumulative bottle sales worldwide since its launch in 1989 and accrued a slew of high-profile fans, with celebs such as Hailey Bieber and Alessandra Ambrosio snapped sipping on it,” according to the brand.

Oi Ocha has been reformulated using 100% Australian green tea since 2018. In 2019, building began on refining and tea-bagging facilities in Wangaratta, Victoria – marking Ito En’s first vertically integrated production line outside of Japan[1]. Since then, “millions of bottles” of Oi Ocha have been sold across Australia’s Woolworths and Coles as well as independent grocers and stores, becoming one of the country’s “preferred” green tea brews. “In the five-year period ending April 2023, Oi Ocha sales saw a 210 per cent increase in Australia.”

Ito En President and Representative Director Daisuke Honjo is thrilled to announce the global partnership with Ohtani under its Oi Ocha brand. “Mr Ohtani has been enjoying Oi Ocha on various occasions, from his time in Japan to his current life in Los Angeles. No matter the time of day, no matter how far apart. We’re here for you, Ohtani-san. Always,” he said.

Mr Ohtani says he is delighted to announce the global partnership with Oi Ocha. “I have been a big fan of Oi Ocha since my time in Japan and it has remained an important companion to me even in my life in America. I was thrilled to hear that my love for Oi Ocha and my frequent consumption of it resonated with Ito En, which led to this opportunity. As a devoted fan of Oi Ocha, I am excited about the prospect of sharing its charm with people all over the world,” he said.

The connection between a love of tea and emerging love of baseball in Australia isn’t lost on Ito En, with the Ohtani and Oi Ocha partnership tipped to bring more awareness to the both the sport and drink, which is lauded for its high-quality homegrown green tea leaves and health benefits found from green tea specifically[4]. Oi Ocha’s unsweetened beverages are now sold in over 40 countries.

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