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

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' 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.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs