As of the end of 2022, Coca Cola will discontinue the Honest Tea product line. The Honest brand was founded in 1998 by Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff. In 2008, The Coca-Cola Company took a 40% stake in Honest, after which the brand was fully acquired in 2011. In 2018, Coca Cola introduced the organic brand in Belgium and Luxembourg. Two years later, in September 2020, Honest disappeared again from Belgium and Luxembourg.
Now it is also disappearing from the shelves in the United States. Coca Cola chooses to focus on smaller and larger brands that have the greatest potential for scale and profitable growth. Coca Cola is scaling back its portfolio of ready-to-drink teas to two brands, Gold Peak and Peace Tea.
Sales of those two brands have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, as consumers are drawn to drinks with immune-boosting properties and multi-serving packaging for home use. Honest Tea, which is mainly offered in single-use bottles with a strong concentration in the Northeast and along the West Coast, has been negatively affected by a drop in direct consumption sales and limited glass stocks.
Although saying goodbye to Honest Tea, the brand does not disappear completely. A few years ago, An Honest Kids line of organic juice drinks was expanded. Its production will be continued and possibly expanded.
Founder Seth Goldman calls Coca-Cola’s decision “a blow to the stomach from all the sweat, tears and incredible passion with which our beloved brand has been built. As Dr. Seuss said, ” Don’t cry because it’s over, laugh because it happened.” “I will always be proud and grateful to be part of a brand that spent 24 years working to steer the American diet and shopping habits in a healthier direction.”