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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs