The company said on Monday it will start selling tea sachets in six different flavors this summer on its way to a national rollout over the course of the rest of the year. While Starbucks sells Teavana products at its namesake cafés, it recently lost a major avenue for selling Teavana: nearly a year ago, Starbucks said it would close all 379 Teavana stores, shuttering a chain it bought in 2012 in hopes of diversifying its core business.
In November, it agreed to sell the Tazo tea brand to Unilever for $384 million, adding to the pressure of making Teavana a success. But the company restated its target of having its tea business hit $3 billion over the next five years, including thanks to packaged tea.
Starbucks shares have been trading at three-year lows this week on concerns about slowing growth at its core U.S. cafe business: last week, Starbucks said it would close 150 U.S. stores this year, about triple the usual number, as it looks to shed weaker stores more quickly. In the current quarter through last week, Starbucks’ global comparable sales had fallen short of projections.
This is also just the latest move by Starbucks this year to bolster its presence in grocery stores: In May, Starbucks said that Nestlé, the Swiss maker of Nescafe, would pay it $7.15 billion upfront in cash for the rights to sell Starbucks coffee products in supermarkets, restaurants, and catering operations.