- Starbucks Coffee Co. announced a new collaboration with Oprah Winfrey to produce Teavana Oprah Chai Tea, to be available in handcrafted latte and loose-leaf tea.
- Oprah Winfrey personally developed the tea, which blends cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves with loose-leaf black tea and rooibos, with Teavana’s leading teaologist, Naoko Tsunoda.
- Beginning April 29, Teavana Oprah Chai Tea will be sold in Starbucks and Teavana stores across the United States and Canada; each one sold will generate a Starbucks donation for the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation to benefit educational opportunities for youth.
The company also unveiled a new online destination built around the concept of community, featuring original videos and articles that inspire moments of reflection and an insider's look at how this partnership came together; how Oprah "steeps her soul." This approach to promoting tea, which Starbucks hopes will generate more business at its new Teavana outlets, contrasts with Lipton's campaign to "be more tea" with a basic grocery-store brand.
Starbucks has made social responsibility a part of its corporate identity, so the cause marketing inherent in promoting the new tea is not altogether new. What is new is identifying the cause with a celebrity like Oprah. Starbucks can only stand to gain from the name recognition of one of the most influential women in the world.