Founders of Honest Tea return to bottled tea business with launch of Just Ice Tea
Image: Just Ice Tea
The co-founders of Honest Tea, Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff, are pleased to announce their return to the bottled tea business alongside celebrity Chef Spike Mendelsohn with the launch of Just Ice Tea, a ready-to-drink organic iced tea brand focused on sourcing simple ingredients and Fair Trade Certified teas and sweeteners. The organic tea line will hit shelves nationwide beginning September 2022 and is the latest addition to Eat the Change, the planet-friendly snack (and now beverage) company founded by Goldman and Mendelsohn in 2020.
The news for Eat the Change’s expansion into the bottle tea space follows Coca-Cola’s May 2022 announcement that it would discontinue Honest Tea this fall. Goldman and Nalebuff founded Honest Tea in Bethesda, MD in 1998.
“Just Ice Tea is picking up where Honest Tea left off, but we are tripling down on our commitments to our core values – Fair Trade Certified, organic and just sweet enough,” said Seth Goldman, co-founder of Honest Tea and Eat the Change. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to once again serve, and hopefully expand, the community of tea growers and retailers we assembled who were abandoned by the discontinuation of Honest Tea.”
The brand is named Just Ice Tea because “Just Ice” refers to the set of working standards and environmental principles the team aims to support through Fair Trade premiums and working standards. The brand is also committed to supporting our planet through organic certification, which uses a third-party verified approach to avoid the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers. Honest Tea was the first bottled tea brand to offer organic (1999) and Fair Trade certified varieties (2003).
“We didn’t want to leave our loyal customers high and dry, either,” said Barry Nalebuff, co-founder of Honest Tea and Eat the Change board member. “Challenging the line from F. Scott Fitzgerald, he predicted ‘We think act two will be even better’.”
Honest Tea fans will recognize new renditions of crowd favourites with Just Ice Tea. While similar, some key differentiators to note are: no cane sugar (Fair Trade Certified Organic agave and/or honey are used for sweeteners), glass bottles only, a bit less sweet, and chef-crafted by co-founder Spike Mendelsohn who leads innovation at Eat the Change.
“Teaming up with mission-driven leaders and innovators, like Seth and Barry, to launch the next generation of bottled tea is truly a milestone moment for me,” said Chef Spike Mendelsohn, co-founder of Eat the Change. “Innovation is my favourite part of being a chef, and we’re excited to introduce this new line of chef-crafted teas made with responsibly sourced ingredients from our trusted partners.”
Just Ice Tea will launch with 6 SKUs with a SRP of $2.69-2.89. Flavour names and varieties include:
- Berry Hibiscus Herbal Tea: Organic herbal hibiscus and blackberry leaves are brewed and blended with blackberry juice for a fruity caffeine-free blend.
- Honey Green Tea: Real-brewed green tea leaves and a “just sweet enough” taste of agave and honey offers a classic taste of this popular blend.
- Moroccan Mint Tea: Blend of real brewed green tea and mint makes for a refreshing taste with a hint of honey at only 35 calories for the whole bottle.
- Original Green Tea: Smooth, unsweetened green tea is as simple as it gets. No flavouring (except from real-brewed tea leaves) and no sweetener – just the clean taste of real brewed green tea.
- Peach Oolong Tea: Real-brewed oolong and black tea leaves blend with the flavour of fragrant sweet peaches at just 60 calories per bottle.
- ½ Tea ½ Lemonade: Real-brewed black tea leaves blend with the sweet, citrus taste of classic lemonade. Two favourites, one bottle.
Just Ice Tea will be distributed nationwide and begins to hit shelves September 2022. Just Ice Tea is available first at Sprouts Farmers Market nationally, and PLNT Burger locations in New York City. Other retailers set to carry Just Ice Tea include but are not limited to: Whole Foods Markets, Hy-vee, Town & Country, Central Market, New Seasons Market, Erewhon, MOM’s, Roots, Yes! Natural Markets, Giant Foods, PCC, Dawson’s, Market of Choice, ION Group, Oliver’s, Rainbow Grocery, The Food Bin, Ellwood Thompson’s and The Common Market.