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Starbucks Asia rolls out Teavana

Starbucks Asia is rolling out Teavana in 6200 stores across its 16 Apac markets.

Four tea beverages prepared in-store will be offered to the 16 countries, with two or three expected to be sold in each market, the choice up to each one.

Starbucks acquired US-based Teavana Holdings in December 2012, a “super premium tea” product it says brings “exotic blends, great flavors, wellness and innovation” to customers globally.

The Asian launch began with China at the end of last month, with Korea and Indonesia following at the beginning of this month. The majority of Asian markets will see the new lines in mid-September, with a Japan launch scheduled for October and India later this year.

Vera Wang, director, product line innovation at Starbucks China and Asia Pacific, told Inside Retail Asia the teas have been developed especially for Asian tastes.

“We recognise Asian consumers are developing sophisticated taste preferences.”

While a premium product, pricing will be left to the determination of each market, she said.

“Pricing (of all Starbucks lines) is determined product by product and market by market.”

She declined to discuss the company’s expectations for Teavana’s share of Starbucks sales in the region.

“I’m not at liberty to talk about that. But tea definitely has huge potential for us and we have a lot of confidence going into Asia with Teavana.”

Starbucks Korea staff promoting Teavana at the Starfield Hanam GL store.

Besides fresh-brewed tea in cafes, Teavana full-leaf tea sachets will also be sold for take-home use.

The four launch lines of Teavana in Asia are Matcha & Espresso Fusion (a matcha tea blended with a shot of espresso), Black Tea with Ruby Grapefruit and Honey, Iced Shaken Green Tea with Aloe and Prickly Pear; and Iced Shaken Hibiscus Tea with Pomegranate Pearls.

Wang told Inside Retail Asia those core lines would be complemented by other blends selected on a market-by-market basis in the future, depending on customer feedback.

John Culver, group president of Starbucks global retail said in a statement Teavana represents “a tremendous opportunity to leverage the company’s expertise in creating best-in-class retail experiences, handcrafting custom beverages, and sourcing the finest ingredients, to become a leader in a new category for us”.

“Just as we’ve done for coffee, this is tea reimagined at Starbucks.”

Last year, Starbucks’ tea business in the US grew by 12 per cent with all tea categories posting strong growth, led by iced tea at 29 per cent. Building on this and the success of Teavana to date in other parts of the world, Starbucks aims to increase its global tea business to US$3 billion over the next five years.

Starbucks Teavana will be launched in all stores in Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, The Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

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