Coca-Cola subsidiary Honest Tea announces sale of its 1 billionth beverage since its founding in 1998
June 12, 2014
– Journey to Democratize Organics Crosses Major Milestone – Estimated 22MM lbs. of Organic Ingredients Purchased Since 1998
Honest Tea, the nation’s top selling organic bottled tea company, recently crossed a major milestone, selling more than one billion beverages since being founded in 1998 in Seth Goldman’s kitchen in Bethesda, MD. With its focus on organic and Fair Trade Certified™ ingredients, the company has purchased roughly 22 million lbs. of organic ingredients to date, equivalent to the weight of the Statue of Liberty fifty times over.
“Sixteen years ago, it almost felt like I sold every bottle myself. It’s nice to see our brand and mission reach an audience well beyond my personal sales route! This is a testament to the persistence and faith of our team as well as the increasing acceptance of organic ingredients,” said co-founder & TeaEO Goldman.
Over 16 years, Honest Tea has released 85 organic beverages across product lines consisting of bottled teas, tea bags, juice drinks, kombucha, a cacao-based drink, sodas and most recently, lemonades and a limeade. With a heavy emphasis on organic, Fair Trade Certified tea, Honest Tea has also purchased millions of pounds of organic herbs, sugar cane and juice concentrates.
Honest Tea has steadily built scale since selling 300,000 bottles in 1998, its first year. Through 2007 the brand grew availability to 15,000 stores, selling 112 million bottles in its first 10 years. In 2008 The Coca-Cola Company became a partner, first investing in the brand and then acquiring it in 2011. Since Coca-Cola’s investment, Honest Tea’s availability has grown to more than 100,000 outlets, and resulted in sales of more than 888 million additional units. In turn, Honest Tea’s demand for organic ingredients has increased from 800,000 lbs. in 2007 to an estimated 8 million lbs. in 2014.
“One of our core missions is to democratize organics,” said Goldman. “Now when I visit with our suppliers, they know it’s not just some guy who started a company out of his house, it’s a representative of The Coca-Cola Company.”
Since creating the first Fair Trade Certified bottled tea in 2003, Honest Tea has converted its entire line of teas to fair trade, donating more than $500,000 in premiums to communities in India, China, and South Africa, among others. These funds have gone directly to community managed projects including new hospitals, infrastructure, schools and houses for tea garden workers.
Honest Tea seeks to create and promote great-tasting, healthier, organic beverages and extend economic opportunities to communities in need. Founded in 1998 in Bethesda, MD, Honest Tea is the nation's top-selling organic bottled tea company specializing in beverages that are Just a Tad Sweet®. Honest Tea’s product lines include: ready-to-drink bottled teas, Honest® Ade and Honest® Kids organic thirst quenchers, Honest® Freshly Brewed iced tea and Honest® Fizz naturally sweetened zero calorie sodas. All teas and juice drinks are USDA Organic and all tea leaf varieties are Fair Trade Certified™. In addition to being recognized by the United States Healthful Food Council for helping change the food landscape, Honest Tea is a multi-year winner of awards from the Alliance for Workplace Excellence and is a Montgomery County, MD Certified Green Business. Honest Tea has won Men’s Health “Best Bottled Tea” for the last six years and has been included in Women’s Health magazine’s “125 Best Packaged Foods for Women” for the last three years in a row. Honest Tea is an independent operating unit of The Coca-Cola Company. For more information: www.honesttea.com.
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