Transforming Ahlstrom’s global teabag business

Ahlstrom is a high performance materials company with €1bn+ annual t/o . Its materials are used in everyday applications such as coffee and tea filters, medical fabrics, wallcoverings and food packaging.

The challenge

Ahlstrom came to us as sales were not meeting expectations in its teabag material business. B2B research was needed to create a strategic plan for business growth.

The Breaking Blue solution

We conducted a semi-structured telephone survey among teabag paper buyers, gaining insight on drivers in vendor selection; satisfaction with Ahlstrom and perception of the brand; areas for improvement and future needs. Our B2B research team also conducted machine manufacturers’ research – customers told us that they take advice from their machine manufacturer with regards to brand and specification of teabag paper – it was critical to get their perceptive. We met Ahlstrom in a series of workshops to deliver the results of the research and our recommendations and to develop a detailed action plan addressing each of Ahlstrom’s objectives and enabling to close the gap on the competition, re-establish customer relationships and found a lead in the market.


Drawing on our B2B research insights, Ahlstrom adopted a marketing campaign based on the concept of ‘we see tea differently’, far more customer-focused than anything Ahlstrom has produced before in the tea business. Today, it has increased profitability, with solid leadership and customer focussed employees with a strong sense of purpose and strategic direction.

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