Your cup of tea?

Tea is the world’s most pop­u­lar drink, es­pe­cially in the Chi­nese mar­ket

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - ByWANG ZHUOQIONG wangzhuo­qiong@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Star­bucks launched its Tea­vana brand in China, bring­ing two new shaken iced tea bev­er­ages cre­ated specif­i­cally for the tea-lov­ing mar­ket.

Star­bucks Cof­fee Co, the global leader in cof­fee chain stores, launched its Tea­vana brand in China on Tues­day to strengthen its tea of­fer­ings in the nation, with its strong tea-drink­ing cul­ture.

In its de­but, Star­bucks Tea­vana will bring two new shaken iced tea bev­er­ages that were cre­ated specif­i­cally for the Chi­nese cus­tomer.

Star­bucks op­er­ates about 300 Tea­vana branded stores in the United States and Canada, but there is no plan to ex­pand them in China.

Belinda Wong, pres­i­dent of Star­bucks China, said: “As we con­tinue to deepen the reach of the Star­bucks brand in China, our cus­tomers are in­creas­ingly ask­ing us for new and dif­fer­ent ways to ex­pe­ri­ence tea. Just as we’ve done for cof­fee, Tea­vana is tea reimag­ined by Star­bucks.”

The two newTea­vana shaken iced teas join the ex­ist­ing pop­u­lar core tea bev­er­ages and the cur­rent whole-leaf tea sa­chets, which have been in Star­bucks’ stores for many years. They will be­come part of the Star­bucks Tea­vana port­fo­lio across all its more than 2200 stores in China.

“The launch of Star­bucks Tea­vana in China and the Asia Pa­cific re­gion brings an en­tirely new and mod­ern tea ex­pe­ri­ence specif­i­cally de­vel­oped for our cus­tomers, who in­creas­ingly want newand dif­fer­ent tastes and ex­pe­ri­ences,” said John Cul­ver, group pres­i­dent of Star­bucks Global Re­tail.

Tea is a $125 bil­lion global cat­e­gory and is the sec­ond most con­sumed bev­er­age in the world, sec­ond only to wa­ter. The launch of Star­buck­sTea­vana™ is the first time Star­bucks has launched a brand on this scale since 2008 with the launch of Star­bucks VIA Ready Brew, and rep­re­sents an im­por­tant growth op­por­tu­nity for the business, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany.

In 2015, Star­bucks’ tea business in the United States grew by 12 per­cent, with all tea cat­e­gories post­ing strong growth, led by iced tea at 29 per­cent. 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 $3 bil­lion over the next five years.

Star­bucks ac­quired Tea­vana Hold­ings, Inc. in De­cem­ber 2012 and Tea­vana prod­ucts will be avail­able in stores across all its mar­kets in China and theAsia Pa­cific re­gion.

China’s specialist cof­fee shops are in­creas­ing rapidly and are fore­cast by Euromon­i­tor In­ter­na­tional to rise from 16,692 thou­sand in 2015 to 33,359 thou­sand in 2020. Cof­fee play­ers are eye­ing the growth po­ten­tial in China, although there has not yet been any sig­nif­i­cant shift from tea to cof­fee bev­er­ages in this mar­ket.

“The key to mar­ket­ing mes­sages is to try and con­vince con­sumers that cof­fee play­ers are here to add to the di­ver­sity of drinks, rather than ask­ing the Chi­nese to re­place tea with cof­fee,” ac­cord­ing to Euromon­i­tor.

Last year, LiaoWei­jia, the daugh­ter of China’s so-called “Hot­pot Queen”, vowed to ex­pand her chic tea­house chain NenLyuTea (mean­ing ten­der green tea) to 100 stores in three years with more than 100 mil­lion yuan ($15.6 mil­lion) in fund­ing from Domk­ing Hold­ings Ltd. Zhang Ze­tian, the newly wed wife of JD.comCEOLi­uQiang­dong, is the main share­holder of Domk­ing.

The launch of Star­bucks Tea­vana in China and the Asia Pa­cific re­gion brings an en­tirely new and mod­ern tea ex­pe­ri­ence specif­i­cally de­vel­oped for our cus­tomers...” John Cul­ver, group pres­i­dent of Star­bucks Global Re­tail

BLOOMBERG

Pedes­tri­ans walk past a Star­bucks Corp store in the Luohu dis­trict of Shen­zhen.

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