Starbucks Enlists Bottling Giant Anheuser-Busch for Teavana Push

Starbucks Corp. plans to go big with Teavana bottled drinks.

The coffee company is partnering with Anheuser-Busch InBev NV to make, bottle and distribute its ready-to-drink teas, which will be introduced throughout the U.S. in the first half of 2017, Starbucks said in a statement on Thursday. Though Anheuser-Busch is best known for beer, including its Budweiser and Bud Light brands, the teas won’t contain alcohol.

The partnership brings together two beverage giants to push the Teavana brand into thousands of U.S. retail stores. Starbucks has long seen tea as a potential growth area as Americans increasingly look for healthier food and beverage options. For AB InBev, the partnership gives it an additional revenue source in the U.S., where microbrew rivals have chipped away at its beer dominance.

“We are excited to work with Anheuser-Busch to unlock the premium ready-to-drink market and further grow demand for the Teavana brand,” Starbucks Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz said in the statement.

Starbucks, which bought Teavana for about $618 million roughly three-and-a-half years ago, already sells the branded teas in its cafes. In the past year, its U.S. locations have sold more than $1 billion of Teavana drinks, an 11 percent increase from a year earlier.

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