Saturday, May 23, 2015Saturday, May 23, 2015

Oprah gives Starbucks tea push a celebrity shot with chai drink

Published on Mar 20, 2014 5:56 AM
Howard Schultz (left), CEO of Starbucks, is pictured on stage with surprise guest Oprah Winfrey (right) during the company's annual shareholders meeting in Seattle, Washington on March 19, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SEATTLE (REUTERS) - Starbucks Corp will add a celebrity blend to its big tea push when it debuts "Oprah Chai", a tea-based drink created by media mogul Oprah Winfrey.

Winfrey and Starbucks' chief Howard Schultz clinked tea cups on Wednesday at the company's annual meeting as they announced the new brew, which will go on sale at Starbucks and Teavana stores in the United States (US) and Canada on April 29.

Starbucks, the world's biggest coffee chain, is looking to tea as a way to keep expanding its sales as competition grows in the coffee market and it continues moving into new global markets.

"We are going to elevate the tea experience in the same way we did for coffee," Mr Schultz said, adding that partnering with Oprah "is a strong next step forward in accomplishing this objective." Starbucks said Winfrey developed the tea with Teavana's teaologist Naoko Tsunoda.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!