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starbucks

Types of Tea

Get Ready for Fruit-Infused Iced Teas at Starbucks All Year Long

August 10, 2017
Starbucks Shaken Iced Tea Infusers

Courtesy Starbucks

In a world in which it feels like bad news hits us from every direction, here’s some good news for a change: Starbucks has announced that three new Shaken Iced Tea Infusions will be available at participating stores year-round.

The fruit-infused iced tea flavors are:

1) Pineapple Black Tea

2) Peach Citrus White Tea

3) Strawberry Green Tea

The beverages, developed in partnership with Starbucks-owned Teavana, are the brainchild of two main developers: Culinary Institute of America grad Melynda Cheng and food science degree-holder Megan Droz.

Inspired by the increasing number of Starbucks customers ordering unsweetened iced teas and their rising demand for customization, Cheng and Droz wanted to update the goliath chain’s iced tea menu to reflect evolving consumer preferences, turning to fruit to provide both flavor and a healthy dose of sweetness.

After five months of trial and error, the duo came up with the three Shaken Iced Tea Infusions that debuted on July 11.

Just 45 calories per Grande serving, each iced tea contains tea, botanical blends, and liquid cane sugar. Additionally, each contains no artificial sweeteners and no artificial flavor, answering consumers’ call for real, wholesome ingredients and nutritional transparency.

Said Droz in a Starbucks press release, “The fruit and botanical blends of pineapple, peach citrus and strawberry take the place of sweeteners for a lighter mouthfeel and more delicate flavor than other iced tea beverages.”

For guests that want to have it their way, they can now customize any iced tea with the new flavors. Pineapple, peach citrus, and strawberry are “all complementary to our core Teavana back, green, herbal and white teas,” explained Droz.  Isn’t it nice to get exactly what you want?

The new iced teas have been launched with the “Good Feels Good” campaign.

Check out the inaugural ad below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7K4bh2qvDw

Wondering who all the folks in the ad are?  Here’s a handy key from Starbucks:

“Good Feels Good” campaign

Courtesy Starbucks

Good does indeed feel good, and Starbucks is hoping that tea can be a good part of getting you to feel that way. We hope so, too!

Starbucks acquired Teavana five years ago in a $620 million deal.  Having solidified itself as the biggest name in coffee, it was time to expand to tea. With product releases like these three new iced teas, Starbucks is hoping to become the company you think of when you hear the word tea. Will that in fact transpire?  Starbucks bet $620 million that it would.  Stay tuned.

For more information and videos about these new iced teas, head to tea.starbucks.com.

 

 

Tea Industry

Starbucks to Close All Teavana Stores

August 8, 2017

Say goodbye to Teavana—its stand-alone stores at least. Starbucks will shutter all 379 Teavana stores located in Canada and United States malls by Spring 2018. Starbucks will continue to sell Teavana products at its stores worldwide.

The closure of all Teavana stores will cost 3,300 people their jobs, but Starbucks hopes to keep those workers employed within the Starbucks family, where the company expects to see an increase of 68,000 jobs over the next five years.

Palo Alto Teavana Store

A Teavana store in Palo Alto, California | Courtesy Starbucks

Starbucks acquired Teavana in 2012 for $620 million, including its stand-alone retail stores located at upscale shopping malls, which have proved disappointing.

In a Q3 Earnings report, newly appointed Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson characterized Teavana stores as “consistently underperforming.” He explained, “We conducted a strategic review of Teavana mall-based store business and concluded that despite our efforts to reverse the trend through creative merchandising and new store designs, the underperformance was likely to continue.”

As more shoppers peruse virtual aisles online and large retailers like Macy’s and Sears close their stores, consumers have fewer reasons to go to the mall in the first place, leading to a decline in secondary food purchases, like that piece of pizza from the food court or that cup of tea from Teavana.

Some analysts point to consumer behavior to explain Teavana’s failure, arguing that people are simply accustomed to buying tea at the grocery store, not the mall. And we are creatures of habit, after all

While Teavana stores may not be minting much profit, the brand is a success inside Starbucks stores:

Tea is the fastest-growing category in Starbucks sales. Starbucks’ tea business has risen 40% in the US since its Teavana acquisition, and 60% over the past year in China and Japan.

teavana products

You’ll still be able to get Teavana products at Starbucks stores, like these ready-to-drink teas. | Courtesy Starbucks

Starbucks stores have been generating about four times as much Teavana revenue than Teavana mall stores were able to do. Closing these locations and shifting costs from maintaining Teavana stores to promoting Teavana products within Starbucks stores makes fiscal sense.
Johnson expects Starbucks to sell more than $1.6 billion of Teavana beverages in 2017 worldwide.

 Shaken Iced Tea infusions

Starbucks is committed to tea innovation with the release of products like these Shaken Iced Tea infusions | Courtesy Starbucks

That includes the recently launched Shaken Iced Tea infusions, available in three delicious flavors:

1) Pineapple Black Tea

2) Peach Citrus White Tea

3) Strawberry Green Tea

Despite closing all Teavana stores, Starbucks remains committed to innovating within the tea market.  Said Johnson, “We have big plans for tea in Starbucks retail and CPG (consumer packaged goods) globally.”

Starbucks Commitment to Tea

Courtesy Starbucks

Tea Guides

The Best Chain Restaurants For Tea

January 19, 2017

Gone are the days when a restaurant offered you a cup of hot water and a black Lipton teabag after dinner. From fine dining to quick serve eateries, tea has become a signaturizing opportunity for restaurants across the country. The number of tea items offered at restaurants increased by 11.2% from 2008 to 2010. And you don’t have to go somewhere fancy to be treated to a unique, flavorful cup of tea. Chain restaurants have embraced the tea trend, offering up an impressive array of selections to satisfy your taste buds and your budget. Here’s 5 chains that we think are spinning impressive tea game:

1) Panda Express

Tea originated in China, so it’s only fitting that Chinese fast food joints embrace the beverage. Panda Express has done just that, rolling out Tea Bars at some of its outposts. Offerings include Panda Express’s best-known option, Milk Tea, which can be served hot or iced, with or without tapioca pearls. Panda Express also has several fruit teas and lemonade teas, infusing your tea with a unique shot of sweetness. If you’re not into what Panda Express has cooked up, you can build your own tea. Here’s how it works: Start by picking a tea base of black, green, or oolong. Then pick a style: milk, citrus, berry, or tropical. Continue by specifying how sweet you want your tea to be, and then finish things off with an add-on: honey boba, jelly, pudding, aloe vera, or chia seeds.

2) Panera

Panera serves hot teas from Republic of Tea, but it’s their iced beverages that have us dishing out the applause. Panera keeps it basic with iced green tea and an iced chai tea latte, but turns things up with its acai berry iced green tea (left) and its plum ginger hibiscus iced tea (right). The hibiscus tea includes pieces of apple, blackberry leaves, carob, ginger, and rosehips. How’s that for flavor?

3) Wendy’s

Wendy’s line of Fruitea Chillershighlights the burger chain’s enthusiasm for unique, tasty teas. The Blueberry Pineapple Fruitea Chiller (left) blends organic tropical green tea with blueberry puree and pineapple and pomegranate juices. And the Orange Mango Fruitea Chiller (right) pairs organic tropical green tea with mango puree, orange juice, and carrot juice.

For those craving something less sweet, Wendy’s keeps it simple with Honest Tropical Green Tea and Unsweetened Ice Tea.

Wendy’s launched a new slogan this year, calling its menu “deliciously different.” With these beverages, we have to agree.

4) Caribou Coffee

Caribou Coffee packs in the flavor on its tea menu, from pomegranate and mango to peach and mint. One of its most flavorful concoctions is the Pomegranate Vanilla Tea Latte, which pairs pomegranate oolong tea with sweet vanilla syrup and steamed milk. Its hot and iced tea selections include cinnamon spice, black mango, citron green, and mint varieties. The Minnesota-based chain also features a selection of sparkling teas, including green tea lemonade and peach black tea.

5) Starbucks

Starbucks may be the most famous coffee chain in the world, but it’s also become quite the destination for a good cup of hot or iced tea. The Seattle-based business features an impressive bevy of teas with rich flavor profiles that include mango, citrus hibiscus, papaya, cinnamon, and lemongrass—and that’s just in one drink, the Passion Tango™ Herbal Tea! Other tea offerings from Starbucks include: jade citrus mint green tea, mango black tea lemonade, and the Youthberry White Tea, which includes notes of acai berry, hibiscus, candied pineapple, mango, and Fuji apples. Starbucks even offers its own PG-version of sangria with the Teavana® Sparkling Berry Sangria Herbal Tea. The fruity mixture combines Passion Tango™ tea with apple juice, berry flavors, blackberries, and orange slices. Starbucks recently released its first coffee/alcohol mashup with the Espresso Cloud IPA. Tea and alcohol have been a hot new couple at restaurants in recent years…Will we see them hook up at Starbucks anytime soon? Stay tuned.