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Starbucks and AB-InBev Team Up for World Tea Domination

Brace for bottled Teavana to be sold basically everywhere


The world's biggest coffee chain and the world's biggest beer company are getting in bed together. The result of the unholy matrimony between Starbucks and AB-InBev: soon-to-be omnipresent bottled tea sold under the Teavana moniker, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Starbucks purchased Teavana back in 2012 for more than $600 million and once had a vision of spreading its "tea bars" across the country. That dream didn't work out as planned, however, and as of earlier this year the company had shuttered all but one Teavana location.

Instead, the coffee behemoth is now throwing its weight behind ready-to-drink Teavana products that will be sold in 300,000 grocery and convenience stores across the country. Said drinks will be produced by AB-InBev at one of its U.S. breweries.

Both Starbucks and AB-InBev clearly have dollar signs in their eyes over this deal: "Ready-to-drink tea is one of the fastest-growing beverage categories in the U.S., with consumption rising by 6.1% in 2015, according to data service Beverage Marketing Corp.," the WSJ notes.

Starbucks' existing line of ready-to-drink coffee products, such as bottled Frappuccino drinks, are produced by PepsiCo, but according to WSJ "AB InBev’s distributors reach about 100,000 more stores than PepsiCo does" with the coffee beverages.

AB-InBev is currently in the midst of acquiring beverage rival SABMiller in an $108 billion deal that will give it control of approximately 30 percent of the global beer market; meanwhile, Starbucks is focusing its efforts in China, where the nation's growing thirst for coffee presents massive growth opportunities.