The Coca-Cola Company’s decision to discontinue its Honest Tea line is “a gut punch” says the founder of the organic ready-to-drink (RTD) tea range, Seth Goldman.
Coca-Cola announced on Monday that it would be phasing out the Honest Tea line as part of a range “rationalisation” and strategy to align its beverage brands with current consumer trends. The company says it will continue to offer and invest in its Honest Kids range, which it says is “growing quickly” and says emphatically that it is “not selling the Honest brand”. Gold Peak, a national brand, and the regional Peace Tea offering will now anchor the company’s RTD strategy in North America.
Goldman, who founded Honest Tea with Barry Nalebuff in 1998, eventually selling it to Coca-Cola in 2008, said: “Today’s announcement by The Coca-Cola Company that they will be discontinuing Honest Tea is a gut punch to all the sweat, tears and incredible passion that went into building our beloved brand.
“Today’s announcement by The Coca-Cola Company that they will be discontinuing Honest Tea is a gut punch to all the sweat, tears and incredible passion that went into building our beloved brand”
“My thoughts are with our longtime partners and friends, the organic and Fair Trade farmers who helped develop their communities and protect their ecosystems with the tens of millions of pounds of tea, sugar, and spice they sold us.
“I am grateful for the hundreds of amazing people who helped Barry Nalebuff and me grow this idea from five thermoses and an empty Snapple bottle into more than a billion bottles sold.
“While I was proud of what our brand represented, I was equally proud of the incredible group of people we assembled – the relationships we built, the pride we took in our work, and the love we created as a team.
“My gratitude goes out to the tens of millions of consumers who bought our drinks and who benefited from having a less sweet, less caloric, authentic drink as part of their diet.
“Thank you to all the retailers, restaurants, and distributors who believed in us. Your partnership helped democratize organic and healthier drinks in a way that had never been done before.
“I am somewhat consoled by the fact that Honest Kids will continue to grow and thrive. It has helped remove billions of empty calories from the American diet. I hope that work will continue to scale.”