Honest Tea

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Honest Tea
Honest Tea Company Logo.gif
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 products began selling at a local Fresh Fields, which was later acquired by Whole Foods Markets. Originally its products were notable for being almost entirely tea with a tiny amount of sugar. Since 2007, it has expanded its sweetened beverage line while distribution of its barely sweetened teas shrank. Honest Tea received its United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic certification in 2004, and was acknowledged as one of the 500 fastest growing private companies.

The Coca-Cola Company purchased a 40% stake of the U.S. company at $43 million in 2008.[1] It bought the rest of the company in 2011.[2]

In 2009, Honest Tea US received an unpaid endorsement when The New York Times revealed that the White House is now stocking Honest Tea, as it is President Barack Obama's preferred beverage- specifically, the "Black Forest Berry" and "Green Dragon" flavors.[3]

A separate small company controls the "Honest Tea" trademark in Australia; the American Honest Tea and Australian Honest Tea have gone to court several times over the rights to the name.[4]


1998 Five varieties appeared on a local Whole Foods Store (then Fresh Fields). Tea Production was moved to Buffalo, New York. The company ended the year with sales of $250,000.

2008 Coca-Cola purchased 40% of Honest Tea. Honest Tea helped found Bethesda Green,[5] a non-profit in Bethesda, Maryland. Sales reached $38 million.[6]

2011 The Coca-Cola Company bought the rest of the company.[2]


In addition to Honest Tea, the company produces several other types of drinks under the "Honest" brand name.

  • Honest Splash - Bottled juice drinks.[7]
  • Honest Kids - Drinks composed mainly of juices contained in individual pouches. Launched in 2007.[8]
  • Honest Zero - Drinks with zero calories, which include green tea and lemonade as of February 2014.[9]
  • Honest Fizz - Soft drinks marketed with having no calories or sugar.[10]


  1. ^ "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. 
  2. ^ a b "Honest Tea Joins The Coca-Cola Family" (Press release). The Coca-Cola Company. March 1, 2011. Retrieved January 22, 2012. 
  3. ^ "White House Unbuttons Formal Dress Code". The New York Times. 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  4. ^ "Australian iced tea more 'honest' than US". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2007-03-19. 
  5. ^ "About Us". Bethesda Green. Retrieved March 16, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Honest Beverages". Honesttea.com. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  7. ^ "Honest Splash". Honest Tea. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "Our Mission". Honest Tea. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Honest zero". Honest Tea. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "Honest Fizz". Honest Tea. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 

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