Two Powerhouses, Starbucks & Anheuser-Busch Joining Forces
ST. LOUIS, MO/April 17, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) Two of the world’s largest beverage powerhouses, Anheuser-Busch and Starbucks, are teaming up on a new line of nonalcoholic, bottled Teavana tea drinks to capitalize on the rapidly growing tea sector. Premium bottled tea is the fastest growing segment in the Ready-to-Drink (RTD) tea category, representing a substantial growth opportunity for both companies.
According to the Tea Association of the U.S., 80 percent of tea consumed in America is iced tea. Their statistics also show that overall tea has an international category size of $125 billion, with Americans drinking close to 800 million cups of tea per week. The liaison will position Starbucks and Anheuser-Busch to claim market share in the more than $1 billion premium Ready-to-Drink (RTD) tea category.
Starbucks acquired Teavana in 2012 and sold more than $1 billion of brewed Teavana tea in its U.S. stores in the past 12 months. That’s an 11 percent increase from a year earlier for the Seattle-based company. Now, the two companies will be working together to produce, bottle, distribute and market the first Teavana Ready-to-Drink (RTD) tea in the U.S.
“Starbucks’ expertise and leadership in premium tea combined with our world-class production capabilities and strong U.S. distribution footprint, will position this new product well in what is an exciting and growing category,” said Carlos Brito, Chief Executive Officer of Anheuser-Busch InBev. Each company has a long history of successful brand-building.
While Starbucks brings Teavana’s tea expertise, retail power and consumer engagement capabilities to the partnership, Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Budweiser and Bud Light beers, will oversee production, bottling and distribution to retailers nationwide through its already established network of wholesalers.
The new RTD product line will incorporate the handcrafted nature and gourmet flavors drawn from Starbucks and Teavana’s retail favorites to offer consumers premium layered flavors. Look for an anticipated product launch sometime in the first half of 2017.