Samoa’s Turmeric drink popular at Auckland’s French Market

There’s no mistaking Turmeric’s popularity is on the rise in New Zealand.

E-Life’s Etu Tusitala (left) with visitors checking out E-Life’s Samoa Wild Turmeric drink at the La Cigale French Market in Auckland last Saturday.

‘Samoa Wild Turmeric’ drink had a big boost after it sold out of product at its stand at La Cigale, the French Style Farmers Market in Parnell, Auckland, on Saturday.

Samoa Wild Turmeric drink is BioGro certified organic made in Samoa by ELife Company.  It is a family-owned business by Etu and his wife Elena Tusitala. The company was started back in 2013 after Mr Tusitala came up with a product to help customers with wellness and to try and help relieve minor health complaints.

Mr and Mrs Tusitala are participants of the Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) NZ Pacific Path to Market programme and were in Auckland earlier this year to attend the Pasifika Festival as part of the programme.

“E-Life was one of the key companies identified for this year’s Pasifika with its turmeric water product,” Michael Greenslade, PTI NZ Trade Commissioner said. “Many of us thought it had the potential and it seems like it is indeed turning out that way.”

Although Mr Tusitala had tried selling at La Cigale before, the response was lukewarm. This time people seemed more familiar and better informed about turmeric and its properties.

A customer samples the drink.

Pacific Periscope visited the Samoa Wild Turmeric stand on Saturday.  The sun was shining, blue sky, and crisp winter air. There was a steady stream of passers-by, willing to stop, chat and sample the turmeric drink.  Like sunshine in a bottle, the bright orange/yellow drink is an eye catcher.

The one- and two-litre bottles were lined up on the table alongside a large glass drink dispenser filled turmeric drink, ginger and peppermint leaves, plain bottled turmeric juice and small sample cups.

Some visitors were not convinced after sampling the straight turmeric drink. But after tasting the drink mixed with ginger, mint leaves mixed with ice and served from an attractive glass dispenser, it was enough to send them reaching for their wallets. With winter looming large, buyers had the coming chills and ills on their minds.  One man who suffered from “a lot of inflammation” and initially reluctant to sample a drink, decided to buy a bottle after all.

“Etu has spent time researching traditional Pacific Island remedies and moved from concept to product of turmeric water,” Mr Greenslade said. “This coincides with the rising global awareness of turmeric as a health tonic for wellness and a wide range of ailments including inflammation. This is no secret to Pacific Islanders, especially Indians from Fiji who have included turmeric in their day to day cooking.”

Mr Tusitala was more than happy with the positive response after he had been there since 10am.

“Wow, the reaction has been really good,” he said compared to the first time they tried the product at the market.  They were giving away much of the product in taste samples.  But not this weekend.  People seemed to know more about Turmeric and were more willing to buy the product.

The drink did brisk business.

There wasn’t just one group interested he said. Buyers came from a wide range of people of different ages, old and young and there were even a few visitors from outside of Auckland.

In addition, there’s more good news. The café inside La Cigale had a poster advertising Mr Tusitala who will also host special coffee barista training using Samoa Wild Turmeric juice on Wednesday.  The training is intended to help baristas understand more about using turmeric juice in coffees.

“We look forward to see how Etu progresses and welcome him as our Pacific Path to Market programme alumnus,” Michael Greenslade said.

For more information please contact PTI Trade Development Manager Joe Fuavao on joe.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

E Life’s Etu Tusitala, as reported in the last edition of Pacific Periscope, was the lucky winner of an iPad Mini after the lucky draw of participants in the PTI online surveys earlier this year. He dropped in at the office last week to collect his prize. Here he is seen holding his prize with Joe Fuavao, Trade Development Manager PTI NZ and Haukura Jones, Office Administrator each holding a bottle of the Samoa Wild Turmeric drink.

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