Can lightning strike twice? Others are watching to see if Starbucks, the undisputed titan of the coffee world, will prove that it can, this time with tea. Since launching the teahouse arm of the retail tea company it purchased for $620 million in 2012, Starbucks has built a steady stream of followers at its first and flagship Tea Bar in New York City, and it has since expanded to Seattle and Chicago. The growth is driven by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who said on a conference call in March that the $90 billion global tea category is “ripe for innovation.” To capitalize on the opportunity, Teavana Tea Bar was designed around the customer experience, doing for tea what Starbucks did for coffee.
Accessible tea experience. Unlike the grab-and-go coffee atmosphere, Teavana’s low lighting, comfy seating and zenlike decor encourage lingering over the drinks. To further distance the two, there is no Starbucks branding anywhere in sight.
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