Starbucks Ready to Enhance the Tea Experience with Launch of Teavana Partnership with Oprah

Not that Starbucks needs any more star power to augment sales, but Oprah Winfrey is waiting in the wings to partner with−while magnifying the Seattle brand exponentially−Starbucks and its Teavana business.

On the heels of an impressive second-quarter final performance, in which Starbucks saw its net income rise 9.4%, to $427 million and its revenue increase 9.1% to $3.87 billion, the Seattle-based juggernaut cited its Teavana business partnership with Oprah Winfrey, and new payment and loyalty technology, as contributing to overall fiscal growth.

Teavana Oprah will be sold in Starbucks and Teavana stores across the U.S. and Canada beginning April 29. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation to benefit educational opportunities for youth.

Howard Schultz, president and CEO of Starbucks, touched on the Oprah impact during Thursday’s earnings conference call.

“The innovation we are bringing to market through reinvention of our Teavana business and partnership with Oprah Winfrey, our reimagination of the Starbucks Experience through next-generation payment and loyalty programs, and our continued investments in the over 200,000 Starbucks partners who wear the green apron every day continues to build equity in the Starbucks brand and strengthen our connection to customers in every market in which we operate.”

Schultz has said the Teavana partnership with Oprah will elevate the tea experience at Starbucks the same way coffee did.

During the company’s first-quarter earnings call, Schultz said Starbucks offers an experience that cannot be replicated or copied.

“The power of our brand, our heritage in coffee, beverage innovation, customization and the deep emotional connection we have with our customers rooted in longstanding trust and respect that our 200,000 Starbucks partner share with our customers provides us with an overwhelming competitive advantage, not only domestically but around the world,” he said.

Teavana Oprah Chai Tea will be sold at Starbucks and Teavana stores in the U.S. and Canada. The reason for the name is that Oprah personally helped develop the unique blend by working with Teavana’s chief teaologist. The flavors in the tea include cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves. These ingredients are then blended with loose-leaf black tea and rooibos, which is a type of herbal tea. Teavana Oprah Chai Tea will be sold as either a latte or as a loose-leaf tea.

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