Mumbai/Seattle: In a meeting at the iconic Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle, Washington, chairman and chief executive officer of Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX), Howard Schultz, and chairman, Tata Sons Limited, Cyrus Mistry, announced multiple new joint initiatives last week which expand the existing Tata and Starbucks relationship and strengthen the companies’ commitment to developing the Tata-Starbucks brand and building a different kind of company in India.
For the first time, Starbucks will offer a single-origin coffee from India in the U.S., giving customers from outside the country a unique opportunity to experience a rare, small-lot coffee from the Tata Nullore Estates located in the beautiful Coorg coffee growing area of India. Starbucks Reserve® Tata Nullore Estates will be the first coffee from India to be roasted at the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room and will only be available at this Seattle location later this year.
“These announcements build upon the incredible success and shared values between Starbucks and Tata in our partnership in India,” said Schultz. “We are humbled by the way in which customers in India have embraced Starbucks elevated coffeehouse experience, which now spans to more than 80 stores across six cities. As we continue on our journey with Tata, we are delighted to introduce the finest coffee from India to a new audience. Starbucks Reserve® Tata Nullore Estates, the first ever Starbucks Reserve® coffee sourced exclusively from India, highlights the deep coffee heritage and expertise of both companies to source, roast and distribute the finest-quality arabica coffees and elevates the story of India coffee for our customers.”
Starbucks also announced plans to increase its coffee roasting capacity for supplying its stores in India and, over time, select markets around the globe. Since Tata Coffee Limited opened its doors to a roasting and packaging plant in Kushalnagar in Coorg, Karnataka, in 2013, this facility has steadily increased its roasting capabilities. Today, it roasts Starbucks® India Estates Blend and Espresso Roast coffees and will soon expand to include both Kenyan and Sumatran coffees for Starbucks stores throughout India. This builds upon Tata and Starbucks commitment to cultivate a future supply of high-quality, sustainable green coffee from existing and potential sources in India through world-class agronomy practices.
“We are proud to work with Starbucks, a company which shares our commitment to both the coffee growing regions and the coffee farmers to ensure we meet the global demand for high-quality coffee over the long-term,” said Mistry. “Our journey with Starbucks since 2012 has been gratifying and we are pleased to build on the strong relationship between Starbucks and the Tata group as we continue to further advance Indian coffee around the globe. We are honored to be sourcing the finest Indian coffee and introducing Starbucks customers outside India to its quality for the first time.”
Starbucks Soars to New Heights
Starbucks also announced it will soon take flight on Vistara, India’s fastest growing full service airline, later this year. Starbucks’ fresh brewed coffee service will be exclusively available on all Vistara flights. A joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, Vistara operates more than 457 flights weekly to 17 destinations across India and, in June, celebrated the milestone of flying two million travelers.
A New Tea Experience
Building on the sustained success of the tea category in Starbucks U.S. retail stores, Starbucks will extend its Teavana specialty tea brand to India this December with unique bold and customized flavor combinations. Like its industry-leading green coffee sourcing practices, Starbucks and Tata are committed to promoting sustainable tea practices and are collaborating on the development of a signature Indian tea blend that will be available across all Starbucks stores in India.
Expansion of Himalayan Water Program
Starbucks also plans to expand the availability of Himalayan Mineral Water, bottled by Tata Global Beverages, beyond Starbucks stores in India to Singapore later this year, as the companies explore opportunities to introduce the bottled water brand to stores across Starbucks China and Asia Pacific region. Himalayan Mineral Water is bottled at the source from a pure and pristine underground moving stream aquifer at the foothills of the Shivalik range in the Himalayas. This aquifer is one of the largest and purest sources in the world, providing a perennial source of natural mineral water.
Creating New Pathways to Opportunities
A core value for both Starbucks and Tata is using their scale to change lives for the better. Today, Howard Schultz and Cyrus Mistry committed to come together to provide young people in India with valuable skills training over the next five years through Tata STRIVE, an initiative which empowers India’s youth with skills for employment, entrepreneurship and community enterprise. Since launching in 2014, Tata STRIVE has supported approximately 43,000 youth to-date. The joint partnership combines Tata STRIVE’s expertise in providing job skills training and Starbucks expertise in retail operations, which is expected to impact 3,000 disadvantaged youth in India.
“Today, we are proud to extend Starbucks partnership with Tata to enrich the lives of Indian youth and enable them to enter and thrive in the 21st century workforce,” said John Culver, group president, Starbucks Coffee China and Asia Pacific, Channel Development and Emerging Brands. “Our collaboration with Tata underscores our collective commitment to lifelong learning and relevant career skills development. We will continue to make investments to provide pathways to opportunities for young people to realize their personal aspirations and dreams.”
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