Starbucks Sells Tazo Tea to Unilever
Starbucks announced today in its Q4 2017 report that it plans to sell Tazo Tea to Unilever for $384 million.
What could this mean to the tea industry as a whole?
It makes a lot of sense to me. As they move the Teavana teas into the Starbucks stores, Tazo becomes second fiddle. It now goes into the supermarket aisles, where it becomes a premium brand.
I didn’t even know Starbucks still owned Tazo. It makes sense, since they don’t sell it in any of my local Starbucks stores anymore.
“What could this mean to the tea industry as a whole?”
As far as I can see Tazo is all about flavored teabags and other nonsense, so the answer would be… nothing of importance. I suppose they will feel right at home next to L*pton (sorry but I don’t use that kind of language).
To be honest I had already thought that Tazo was a supermarket brand. I had no idea they were owned by Starbucks. In fact I’d swear I have seen Tazo tea in the supermarket but cannot remember which market.
This means that a coffee company shouldn’t run/ruin a tea business.
It surprises me to see Starbucks basically get rid of two huge tea brands from its portfolio. Now I understand that Teavana is not completely disappearing but for the most part its retail and online business are closing. Thankfully there are other big tea brands like Davids Tea and my personal favorite Mahalo Tea. They both have some good deals also www.davidstea.com and https://www.mahalotea.com
Yes I am sure that Starbucks with their coffee savy will pick the worst teas that Teavana has and keep them around until no one wants them, then they will shut down the brand for good. But who knows after Starbucks finishes ruining what is left of Teavana someone may buy the rights and start a real tea company.
You’re probably right. I can’t imagine drinking a delicate oolong inside a Starbucks, with the overwhelming coffee smell they like as an ambient.
Starbucks will probably bring back Teavana’s puerh tea, this was without doubt the worst puerh tea I have ever tasted. I can see Starbucks bringing it back now.
No it was a plain puerh, they discontinued it. I think they mixed it with black tea. It was horrible.
great. more stuff owned by a company that makes shampoo…..
It does seem strange that Starbucks would purchase two tea companies, throw one under the bus, and close the others’ stores down nationally. I know they have played a bit of a predatory game with other companies, like La Boulange and their baked goods, but it doesn’t seem like a good way of expanding their portfolio in the future if their target faces the anxiety of being shutdown and absorbed into the Starbucks brands.
Unilever specializes in tea. Doesn’t surprise me at all.
Starbucks’ MO has often been ‘Take over the competition and close them down’. Trying to do this to tea a natural extension to what they do to the great little independent coffee shops every week. The fact that they’re buying up the dross this time just demonstrates their lack of understanding of tea, thankfully!