Starbucks, the global coffee giant is opening it’s first tea bar in New York, according to the Huffington Post. To industry insiders this doesn’t come at a surprise, as the company successfully managed to commercialize the coffee culture worldwide, it’s now planning to do the same with tea. In addition, this is a logical step after the company acquired about 300 Teavana shops.
The Seattle-based company says Teavana Fine Teas + Teavana Tea Bar will serve sweets and other foods including flatbreads and salads ranging in price from about $3 to $15. Drinks will include novelties such as a Spiced Mandarin Oolong tea, according to a preliminary menu. Huffington Post
There is absolutely no doubt that a company like Starbucks has the management talent and marketing skills in the beverage industry to pull it off and make Teavana expand rapidly. However, years of experience in the coffee industry could at the same time results in blind spots that Starbucks is not able to recognize in the tea industry.
What I find even more interesting is whether Teavana will successfully enter traditional tea markets such as Japan and China. One reason why they won’t succeed is the fact that there is almost no Starbucks coffee shop in Italy, the traditional coffee country. Will the Chinese and Japanese accept commercialized tea?