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Unilever buys Tazo from Starbucks


December 16, 2019
By CANADIAN VENDING


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Unilever announced an agreement to acquire the Tazo® brand from Starbucks. Tazo is a brand in the fast-growing specialty tea category.

Under the asset purchase agreement, Unilever will acquire the Tazo brand and all related intellectual property, signature recipes and inventory for US$384 million. Tazo had sales of US$112.5 million over the past year.

Founded in 1994, Tazo has a position in specialty black, green and herbal teas, as well as liquid concentrates focused in the chai Latte segment. The fast-growing specialty tea segment makes up 48 per cent of the total US$1.6 billion at-home tea category and trends suggest it will become more prominent in the future. Tazo is sold primarily in grocery, mass and convenience channels in the US and Canada, and is offered in formats including packaged teas, K-Cup® pods and bottled ready-to-drink teas.

“With its strong appeal to millennials, Tazo is a perfect strategic fit for our US portfolio that includes exciting new brands such as Seventh Generation, Dollar Shave Club and Sir Kensington’s,” said Kees Kruythoff, president, Unilever North America in a press release. “Tazo’s solid position in the fast-growing specialty tea segment, coupled with Unilever’s tea expertise, presents a fantastic growth opportunity.”

“TAZO® represents another strategic addition which strengthens our tea portfolio towards high growth segments. Its artfully crafted specialty teas perfectly complement our global tea business, which includes Lipton, Pure Leaf, PG Tips, T2 and our recent addition, Pukka,” added Kevin Havelock, president of Refreshment, Unilever.