News / USA

'Honest Tea' Helping Pave Way for Healthy Bottled Drinks

Honest Tea bottles get packaged for distribution and eventual consumer sale
Honest Tea bottles get packaged for distribution and eventual consumer sale

Multimedia

Deborah Block

Today there are a number of bottled drinks on the market in the United States that are considered healthy.  But that wasn't the case 10 or so years ago, when a company called "Honest Tea" created the first healthier bottled tea.  The firm was co-founded by Seth Goldman, a health-conscious entrepreneur in Bethesda, Maryland.  

Seth Goldman, co-founder of "Honest Tea" found most bottled drinks to be too sweet or tasteless.  So he created bottled teas that taste good, are made from organic tea leaves, and have little sugar.  

"We're trying to make people move toward healthier diets," explained Goldman.

Goldman started brewing teas in his home with business partner Barry Nalebuff.  They came up with five different types of bottled teas they marketed as "Honest Tea."  Goldman says it was difficult to sell the new brand until they took some bottles to a natural foods grocery store.

"I tried selling it to mainstream sandwich shops and grocery stores and they said, 'This isn't sweet enough. This tastes like grass. People aren't ready for it.' And of course, now people are ready for it," added Goldman.

Honest Tea does little marketing and most people hear about it by word of mouth.

"Tea is the world's second most popular drink, second to water, and there are literally thousands of tea formulations around the world, so the challenge for us, isn't finding new tea recipes, it's focusing and making sure we're developing things that are going to work," explained Goldman.

Goldman and members of his staff continue to do this in the kitchen at the corporate headquarters.  

Some tea companies use pesticides to grow tea leaves, but Honest Tea uses tea leaves from China, India and South Africa that are grown without pesticides or fertilizers.  

"A portion of our sales goes back to people picking the tea leaves," he noted.  "In the past, we've supported a computer learning center, and some micro-enterprise funds, and so they can invest in what they deem to be the priorities in their community."

A few years ago, Goldman branched out from tea and created organic juice drinks.  They include drinks for children, called "Honest Kids." His son Elie helped with that idea after telling his dad that most kids' drinks have a lot of sugar in them.

"I guess 'Honest Kids' is a good way to get away from those sugary liquids and get a good, healthy, quality alternative," said Elie Goldman.
 
Seth Goldman wanted to expand his operation to reach more consumers.  In 2008, the giant Coca-Cola Company bought 40 percent of Honest Tea and has the option of buying it all in 2011.  For now, Goldman still heads the firm and says Cola-Cola realizes more people want healthier drinks.   

"Honest Tea is where the future is headed, and for Coca-Cola it's a great investment opportunity, because they're investing in the future too," noted Goldman.

Honest Tea is the nation's top-selling organic bottled tea company.  Even in a poor economy, the company grew 20 percent last year.   And it probably helps that U.S. President Barack Obama has said some brands of Honest Tea are his favorite beverages.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid