I think it is fair to say that nowadays Lipton Tea is more popular abroad that it is in the UK. Their tea is still the tea of preference in a wide range of establishments throughout Europe, Africa and the Far East.
In 1960’s however they were one of the major tea suppliers in the UK along with Typhoo and Brooke Bond. Brooke Bond was the market leader (also marketed as PG Tips) who were extremely popular with families as they had introduced the idea of offering collectors cards (known unsurprisingly as Tea Cards) with every packet of tea bought.
This idea bought not only brand loyalty (as parents were pressurised by children to buy the same tea to help them collect their “set”) but were also used as a way of enticing people to start using tea bags more as the tea manufacturers wanted to move away from loose tea as they could charge more for tea bags. By putting extra Tea Cards into tea bags boxes they were actively using Tea Cards as an additional sweetener to get buyers to change to tea bags.
Tea cards were extremely popular with children and were traded and swapped in schools and playgrounds in the same way collectors cards have been for decades.
It is interesting to note that the 1966 Lipton Tea card set for Flags of The World were actually marketed with the slogan “We offer this series of cards in the interest of self-education and world affairs” – a very clear statement that they were produced predominantly with children in mind and a way of swaying parents to help give their children new knowledge and understanding.
The selection of countries flags depicted is also very interesting. With only 60 cards in the series they could not depict all countries but many of the cards produced are tea producing countries and I suspect are countries in which Lipton Tea was sold.
There are some extremely strange choices however – even considering the above suspicions – and the validity of the statement regarding self-education is seriously questionable especially when they missed out large parts of the world by both volume and population.
- There is no place for China, India, USSR, Canada or the USA;
- However Aden, Nepal and Laos were deemed worthy of a place in the collection;
In order to bring these set to you we have scanned both the front and the back of the cards and shown them both in the same image. Click on the card depicted below to see the full detail.