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June 2, 2016

TEAVANA

Starbucks, Anheuser-Busch Team Up For Tea Launch

Starbucks and Anheuser-Busch are working together to produce, distribute and market the first Teavana Ready-to-Drink tea in the U.S. Courtesy of Starbucks

New ready-to-drink line of Teavana to be sold next year.

Starbucks and Anheuser-Busch InBev have joined forces to produce and distribute the first ready-to-drink teas under the Teavana line, angling to tap a $1.1 billion-and-growing tea market.

The partnership, jointly announced on Thursday, will combine Starbucks’ SBUX -0.36% expertise in concocting teas with AB InBev’s BUD -0.60% strengths in production, bottling and distribution. AB InBev also has strong relationships with retailers that it works with to distributes its beers like Budweiser and Stella Artois, and the companies say the world’s largest beer maker will lean on those long-standing wholesaler relationships to get strong retail support.

 

The line of ready-to-drink bottled tea is expected to debut in the first half of 2017 and will be distributed at supermarkets and convenience stores.

Although much has been made about Starbucks’ foray into serving alcohol at the company’s retail stores, the Teavana ready-to-drink line will be completely non-alcoholic. The new Teavana drinks will aim to tackle the premium ready-to-drink market, which Starbucks claims grew at a compound annual growth rate of 16% over the past five years.

“When we acquired Teavana in 2012, we saw a unique opportunity to do for tea what Starbucks has done for coffee and expand the Teavana brand across many customer experiences and products,” said Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz in a prepared statement. “We are excited to work with Anheuser-Busch to unlock the premium ready-to-drink market and further grow demand for the Teavana brand.”

AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito, meanwhile, said his brewer was “delighted to be in a position to offer this great product to our wholesalers and believe, with their support, we are ideally structured to maximize the sales opportunity for Teavana RTD tea across the U.S.”

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