Honest Tea's Unofficial Comeback Has Reached A Significant Turning Point

The rebirth of Honest Tea took a step closer to realization this week as one of the original co-founders, Seth Goldman, charged ahead, bringing a new ready-to-drink tea company to the market that will follow similarly high standards.

Coca-Cola purchased Honest Tea from Goldman and Barry Nalebuff back in 2011, 13 years after the pair started it. Known for its commitment to the environment and humane business practices, fans were naturally disappointed when Coca-Cola announced plans to stop selling the tea brand. At the time, Coca-Cola said it would focus on its Gold Peak and Peace Tea brands, citing their potential for growth. 

Unhappy with the parent company's decision, Goldman said he wanted to bring another ready-to-drink tea company to the market to carry on Honest Tea's legacy.

As Coca-Cola retained the Honest branding for its children's juice line, the name of Goldman's new iced tea line is Just Ice Tea. This brand is part of his company, Eat the Change, which was founded by Goldman and chef Spike Mendelsohn (via Food Navigator). The hope for Just Ice Tea, Goldman said, is for it to continue to support fair trade and organic companies that formerly supplied Honest Tea.

Financial funding acquired

On August 15, Food Business News reported that Eat the Change had raised $14.5 million to launch its new Just Ice Tea brand. When Goldman announced the name of his new tea company on LinkedIn, he said the selected name Just Ice Tea reflects its mission to support strong work standards and to create beverages that are certified organic. "And finally, Just also speaks to the taste and formulation of our drinks. We use recognizable and minimal ingredients in every recipe, and of course nothing artificial," he wrote in the post.

No set date has been announced for when Just Ice Tea will hit store shelves, but the beverage is anticipated to be on the market in the coming months. And when it does, Goldman is assuring drinkers they can feel good about what they are drinking. In fact, he said that when a pound of ingredients is purchased, money is reinvested in the workers and their communities. Over the years, Goldman said the company has helped to fund a roof for a village school, eyecare for village residents, and a playground and a science classroom for a school.