Industry News | March 19, 2014

Starbucks Announces New Brand Partner: Oprah

Howard Schultz, chairman, president, and CEO of Starbucks, and Oprah Winfrey, global media leader and philanthropist, today announced a first-of-its-kind collaboration to co-create Teavana Oprah Chai Tea. Beginning April 29, Teavana Oprah Chai will be sold in Starbucks and Teavana stores across the U.S. and Canada, with Starbucks making a donation for each product sold to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation to benefit educational opportunities for youth.

Oprah Winfrey personally developed the tea with Teavana’s leading teaologist, Naoko Tsunoda. The distinctive blend of tea, which features a bold infusion of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves, blended with loose-leaf black tea and rooibos, will be made available to customers in time for Mother’s Day in the U.S. and Canada in handcrafted latte and loose-leaf tea formats.

“I love tea,” Winfrey says. “My daily tea ritual is a vital part of my morning. Savory and spicy chai, with its deep flavor, has long been a favorite of mine. When Howard Schultz offered to have me come into the Starbucks tasting room and create my very own tea blend, I thought that sounded like such a unique opportunity and fun to the tenth power. To share one of my favorite things with the rest of the world and support youth education at the same time is truly the perfect blend."

“With the introduction of Teavana Oprah Chai, we are going to elevate the tea experience in the same way we did for coffee," Schultz says. "Partnering with Oprah Winfrey in the creation of this distinctive and remarkable tea is a strong next step forward in accomplishing this objective, while also giving back in a meaningful way through the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation. I am personally humbled to work with such an inspirational leader and visionary who shares so many of our core values and beliefs. I truly believe that, together, we will set the bar for a world-class tea experience at Starbucks and Teavana.” 

Contributions from sales of Teavana Oprah Chai products will go to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation, which provides funding for the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls – South Africa and is dedicated to helping its graduates attend colleges and universities. The foundation will support additional youth education through Girls Inc., National CARES Mentoring Movement, Pathways to College, and the U.S. Dream Academy.

Tea has been a part of Starbucks heritage since 1971, when the company was founded as Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spices. In 2012, Starbucks acquired Teavana and has taken steps to integrate Teavana teas into its Starbucks stores. Customers will soon experience a variety of Teavana products at Starbucks, including handcrafted drinks, loose-leaf teas, and tea merchandise. In addition, the company recently launched a new store concept called Teavana Fine Tea + Tea Bars in Seattle and New York. The new tea bars feature a carefully curated assortment of handcrafted tea beverages, premium loose-leaf teas, tea-inspired food offerings, and tea merchandise, making the ritual of tea more elevated and accessible for customers. Starbucks today announced plans to open additional Teavana Fine Tea + Tea Bars in Chicago, Los Angeles, and additional stores in New York City later this year. The Tea Bars will also feature Teavana Oprah Chai.

Also unveiled today is www.SteepYourSoul.com, a new online destination built around the concept of community featuring original videos and articles that inspire moments of reflection and an insider's look behind the scenes at how this partnership came together and how Oprah "steeps her soul." In addition, starting this Sunday, March 23, as an extension of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s Emmy award-winning series “Super Soul Sunday,” Oprah will engage with spiritual thought leaders, best-selling authors, and filmmakers about how they personally steep their soul. Interviews will feature Shirley MacLaine, Arianna Huffington, Gary Zukav, Louie Schwartzberg and Sue Monk Kidd, among many others. The site also features information on the new Teavana Oprah Chai and the youth education organizations that will be supported through this partnership.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.