Wedgwood Launches Online Mag, 'Behind the Blue Door'

Anyone who has been to Britain or has British friends knows that tea is not just a drink enjoyed in the afternoon but a universe to itself, replete with its own rituals, terminology, sensibility and aesthetics.

This expansive cultural penumbra around the world’s oldest brewed drink has provided fodder for plenty of books – and now, a luxury lifestyle magazine.

Wedgwood, the venerable home luxury brand famed for its iconic porcelain and china tea sets, as well as other tableware, home décor, and accessories, is jumping into custom content with the launch of a new online lifestyle magazine titled Behind the Blue Door.

The new pub covers a range of luxury subjects spanning food to fashion, according to Luxury Daily, which first reported the news and incorporates Wedgwood tea wares and other products into its editorial coverage, all with an appropriately Anglophile attitude.

The online mag’s Web site has three main sections: “Afternoon Tea Reinvented,” “Weekender’s Brunch” and “Decadent Dinner.”

Stories mentioning the brand may also feature links to retailers selling Wedgwood products, as well as Wedgwood’s own online e-commerce presence. Visitors to the site can also sign up for an exclusive membership club with perks like a 20% discount, gifts, tips on entertaining, and regular email newsletters.

Behind the Blue Door also launched with a social media component, inviting readers to post photos of their own elegant tea service with the hashtag #shareyourstyle.

While it takes second place to coffee as the drink of choice for Americans’ mass caffeine addiction, tea is big business around the world, including the U.S. In 2014 the U.S. was the world’s second biggest importer of tea, buying $10.8 billion from overseas.

Total global tea production has risen steadily from 3.9 million tons in 2008 to 5.1 million tons in 2013, with exports jumping from 1.57 million tons to 1.77 million tons and actual consumption rising from 3.7 million tons to 4.8 million tons over the same period, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

By the same token, tea’s traditional dominance in Britain has slipped somewhat in recent years, judging by separate data from Mintel, which showed that the total volume of tea sold in Blighty fell from 97 million kilograms in 2010 to 76 million in 2015.

Mintel attributed the shift to the growing popularity of coffee and other hot beverages, and declining consumption of “biscuits” (cookies) traditionally eaten with tea among diet-conscious younger Brits.

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