Starbucks To Open “Tea Only” Tazo Stores
Forget your cup of steamy hot Starbucks coffee in the morning, soon you may find a new Starbucks owned tea shop in your area. The company has announced plans to open a new line of tea-only stores known as Tazo. Starbucks purchased the Tazo brand for $8.1 million in 1999 and since that time the tea has went on sale with great success throughout the United States.
This isn’t the first new venture for Starbucks in 2012, the company recently opened Java Juice competitor Evolution Fresh which serves up healthy drinks to a growing population of health conscious buyers. Much like Evolution Fresh the Tazo brand has long been sold as a packaged good in Starbucks store locations.
According to Tazo vice president Charlie Cain:
“We want to raise customer expectations for tea the same way Starbucks did for coffee.”
Tazo stores will offer hot and iced tea drinks and tea lattes. The stores will also include a “blending station” where customers can create their own Tazo tea mixes. Customer blended teas will be sold by the ounce.
The Tazo tea brand is no small operation, racking up $1.4 billion in sales. Starbucks considers Tazo one of its top three emerging brands alongside Seattle’s Best Coffee and Evolution Fresh.
With the move towards a more retail oriented approach to Tazo Starbucks will move its Portland operations to its roasting and packaging plant in Kent.
The big question now will be whether or not American’s will be willing to put down their cups of coffee and give tea the good old British try. As an alternative Tazo could reach a whole new market while attracting curious coffee drinkers into the mix.