On the eve of a new year, we are proud to officially welcome Teavana to the Starbucks family. This is an exciting announcement on a symbolic day. Together, Starbucks and Teavana are embarking on the next chapter of a journey that we believe will reinvent the way the world enjoys tea, just as Starbucks did decades ago for coffee.
For those of you who have had the chance to visit a Teavana store, you know this is a brand that has true tea authority. Each of Teavana’s stores offer an impressive variety of super-premium, loose-leaf teas and uniquely-curated selection of authentic artisanal teawares hand-picked from around the world. Teavana’s 5,000 partners (employees) are passionate and knowledgeable about the ritual and enjoyment of tea, and are expert ambassadors that help guide and educate new tea enthusiasts and tea connoisseurs alike. We are excited by the opportunity to bring their expertise to even more customers, while learning from them ourselves.
As we embark on this next phase of our tea journey, you may notice some changes in both Teavana and Starbucks stores over time. Our goal is to create the best possible tea experience for our customers and we are committed to listening to you and learning about what you would like to see in our stores along the way. Although some of Teavana’s product line-up may change, most of the Teavana experience will stay the same and several new additions will be offered. One of the most immediate changes you will see is the addition of new Teavana stores outside of malls in neighborhoods and on urban streets. Down the road, we also have plans to add tea bars to Teavana stores that will serve hand-crafted beverages for customers, which may also be served in Starbucks stores in the future.
You also may have noticed changes to our TAZO tea brand. Recently, we launched new packaging for our TAZO tea offerings that we believe will extend our leadership position in the super premium packaged tea segment. Earlier this year, we also opened a TAZO retail store in Seattle which is serving as a learning laboratory to help us understand more about the best way to create a retail tea experience for customers, including what type of hand-crafted tea beverages customers would like to see from us.
We have an exciting road ahead, and we look forward to having you join us on the journey. As always, we thank you for your continued feedback, support and comments, and we encourage you to continue to share your thoughts here on the My Starbucks Ideas blog.
president, Channel Development and Emerging Brands