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Anheuser-Busch InBev to produce new Starbucks RTD tea

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Anheuser-Busch InBev is to team up with Starbucks to launch an RTD Teavana tea across the US.

Teavana tea is already sold in Starbucks outlets in the US

Teavana tea is already sold in Starbucks outlets in the US

The brewer will produce, bottle and distribute the new product for Starbucks when it gets an expected launch in the first half of next year, the two companies said yesterday. The new release will be Starbucks' first RTD under its Teavana brand. 

"This arrangement will bring together the strengths of two great companies, each with a long history of successful brand-building," said AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito. "Starbucks' expertise and leadership in premium tea, combined with our world-class production capabilities and strong US distribution footprint, will position this new product well in what is an exciting and growing category."

Click here to find out everything you need to know about Teavana and the RTD tea segment in the US

According to the companies, premium RTD tea is the fastest-growing segment in the US RTD tea category, which grew at 16% CAGR over the past five years. Starbuck bought the Teavana brand in 2012 and serves it in its US outlets. The AB InBev deal will see the brand distributed to US retailers for the first time, through the AB InBev wholesaler network.

"This arrangement with Starbucks comes at a very exciting time given the considerable growth in the premium RTD tea category, and I expect this news will energise wholesalers throughout our network," said Philip Mullin, chairman of the Anheuser-Busch wholesaler advisory panel.

The agreement between Starbucks and AB InBev is expected to be finalised in the second half of the year.

AB InBev's US wholesaler network was attacked this week by the head of the Brewers Association. Bob Pease said the brewer's purchase of independent distributors threatened to "choke off" the US craft beer industry.


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