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

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid