In the mid-1980s we noticed how successful iced tea is in Switzerland," says Franz Rauch. "So, from one of the world's biggest food companies we secured the Austrian licence for their world-famous iced tea brand." Production was simple: pour water over instant tea powder and fill. But the license fees were hefty. This meant that iced teas were expensive in the shops at that time and therefore an absolute niche product. When this company wanted even more for the license in 1990, Rauch terminated the contract. "For us it was clear: we can make better iced tea!" said Franz Rauch
The inspiration for this came from Swiss company Migros. At the beginning of the 1980s, their technicians had developed a "new" and yet ancient production process for iced tea: they brewed real tea leaves in hot water, only in quantities thousands of times larger. They then extracted the tea from the infusion in hydraulic filter presses and refined it.
Rauch already had all the necessary systems in place. The recipe for the perfect iced tea was developed in record time. "We often couldn't sleep for nights at a time because we were tasting so much black tea every day," says Peter Lins, head of marketing at the time.
But after a few weeks of development work and testing in production, the recipe was ready. Freshly brewed Rauch IceTea first appeared in the shops in 1992...and triggered a boom. IceTea quickly became the favourite drink of many Austrians, and within just 5 years per capita consumption rose 18-fold from 0.5 to over 9 litres. With a share of almost 60%, Rauch IceTea established itself as the clear No. 1 and is still one of the most popular drinks in Austria, despite its many competitors.