Honest Tea

Honest Tea
Type Iced tea
Manufacturer Honest Tea, Inc / The Coca-Cola Company
Distributor The Coca-Cola Company
Introduced 1998
Website www.honesttea.com

Honest Tea (U.S.) is a bottled organic tea company based in Bethesda, Maryland. It was founded in 1998 by Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company.


Honest Tea was founded in 1998 by Seth Goldman, a graduate of Harvard and the Yale School of Management who got the idea to found a beverage company while he was at business school. There were two key ideas behind the company: to bring beverages to market that were organic and not as heavily sweetened, and to conduct the business using fair trade principles.[1] Goldman and one of his Yale professors, Barry Nalebuff, conceived the idea for the company and raised $500,000 in startup funds from friends and family.[1]

The first order for Honest Tea was from Fresh Fields, an East Coast natural grocery chain that was later acquired by Whole Foods Market.[1] By 2006, Honest Tea had revenue of $13.5 million and was selling about 1.5 million cases a year.[1]

The Coca-Cola Company purchased a 40% stake of the U.S. company at $43 million in 2008.[2] It bought the rest of the company in 2011.[3]

In 2009, Honest Tea US received an unpaid endorsement when The New York Times reported that it was President Barack Obama's preferred beverage.[4]

A separate small company, Springleaf, controls the "Honest Tea" trademark in Australia. Honest Tea lost an attempt to claim the rights to the phrase in Australia in 2007.[5]

In 2015, Annabel Young won her case against Coca-Cola in Australia as the original brand name holder, retaining the Honest Tea brand.[6]

In 2013 Honest Tea's sales were worth $112 million, and in June 2014 sales for 2014 were projected to be around $130 million.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Even after sale to Coca-Cola, Bethesda-based Honest Tea 'work in progress'". The Washington Post. June 29, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  2. "Drink maker finds Coke its cup of tea – Beverage Industry, Body Shop International Plc, Maine". Baltimore Sun. 2008-04-16. Archived from the original on 2011-05-22. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
  3. Paul Ziobro March 1, 2011 Coke Buys Rest of Honest Tea
  4. "White House Unbuttons Formal Dress Code". The New York Times. 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2010-05-04.
  5. "Australian iced tea more 'honest' than US". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2007-03-19.
  6. http://www.theage.com.au/small-business/managing/the-woman-who-took-on-coke-and-won-20150728-gii5qq. Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links

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