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Starbucks plans big UK tea campaign

News, 11 April 2016

LONDON: Starbucks, the global coffee shop chain, is planning a major campaign this summer to promote its Teavana tea brand in the UK, according to the company's VP of marketing for EMEA.

Starbucks acquired Atlanta-based Teavana in 2012 and it intends to introduce Teavana's Shaken Iced Tea to UK consumers as part of a wider strategy to double the company's commercial value to $100bn.

Speaking to The Drum, Ian Cranna explained that Shaken Iced Tea will be the focus of a major marketing campaign aimed squarely at younger consumers, who are expected to respond positively to the brand's playful image.

"You'll see from the brand and the way it is represented in the bright and light, colourful imagery that this is a brand that is very much positioned at turning around what is a fantastic experience and bringing it to a younger audience," he said.

Shaken Iced Tea, the first of three Teavana brands to be launched in the UK, will be promoted in Starbucks outlets across the country as well as across its social channels.

However, in-store and street level sampling will form a key part of the campaign, which also will make use of out-of-home and other media channels.

"We feel there is a massive opportunity not only to up-level that out of home tea experience but to revitalise it in a youthful way," Cranna said.

Tea is becoming an increasingly important offering for Starbucks, which reported that the iced tea category recorded 29% growth in 2015, and the company plans to roll out two further Teavana categories in the UK – Hot Tea and Tea Lattes – at some point after its summer campaign for Shaken Iced Tea.

Cranna also revealed that Starbucks is looking into establishing brand partnerships in the UK similar to the one it has in the US with Spotify, the music app.

That arrangement enables users of Starbucks' mobile app to save Starbucks-curated songs to a playlist on Spotify and then listen to Starbucks music anywhere they go on Spotify.

"Those are the types of initiatives that we will look to bring at some point in time to the UK," he said.

Data sourced from The Drum; additional content by Warc staff