Tea Biz
Tea Biz

Episode · 2 weeks ago

Tea Biz News and Insight - November 18, 2022


HEAR THE HEADLINES – India Tea Exports Rise as Sri Lanka’s Decline | Comparisons of export data through the first eight months of the year reveal a significant shift in the global market for orthodox processed black tea | Extreme Heat Concerns are Raised at the Ongoing COP27 Climate Summit in Egypt | Founder Sandip Thapa Explains the Cuppa Trade Tea eMarketplace

| NEWSMAKER – Seth Goldman, CEO of Eat the Change, founder of Just Ice Tea

| FEATURE INTRO – Tea Biz visits Just Ice Tea founder Seth Goldman this week in Bethesda, Maryland. Seth launched the new low-sugar, organic, Fairtrade tea brand in a remarkably rapid 90 days after learning that Coca-Cola would discontinue by year’s end the iconic Honest Organic Tea brand that he co-founded in 1998. Shocked that Honest Tea would be discontinued, Goldman tells how tea suppliers rallied to support his long-term commitment to organic, fair trade tea.

Seth Goldman’s Encore – Coca-Cola’s Venturing and Emerging Brands group invested $43 million in 2008 to acquire a minority interest in Honest Organic Tea. This low-sugar organic bottled tea dominated the premium fresh-brewed tea segment in natural grocery outlets, including Whole Foods Markets. Seth Goldman and co-founder Barry Nalebuff had grown the company to +$20 million in annual sales since brewing the first batch into five thermos bottles in Goldman’s kitchen. What they needed was national distribution. Coca-Cola’s investment catapulted Honest Tea to the list of Inc. Magazine’s fastest-growing companies. Earnings grew to $70-80 million. Coke’s Big Red trucks soon delivered 100 million bottles nationwide, and in 2011, Coke purchased the company. Goldman joined the behemoth bottler as an ardent champion of flavorful teas and herbal infusions. During the decade that followed, Honest Tea generated hundreds of millions of dollars at far greater margins than commodity brands, where the raw cost of tea is about a penny per unit. He bought eight million pounds of organic tea annually at that time and spent millions more on organic sugar and ingredients.

In 2019 Goldman left Coca-Cola to establish Eat the Change after working as executive chair of Beyond Meat. Eat the Change, “a snack company of the future” launched by Goldman and celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn, will manage the fledgling tea venture. Just Ice Tea has reunited vital staff and suppliers that built Honest Tea into a half-billion-dollar brand. In June, Goldman announced that Eat the Change would launch a new organic tea brand, and by September, the first bottles were served in restaurants.

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