In the coming months, Eat the Change will launch a line of just-sweet-enough organic bottled teas. (see comments for today's Business Insider article.)
Two weeks ago we were busy launching our Eat the Change carrot and mushroom snacks, but our plans changed when Coca-Cola announced they were discontinuing Honest Tea.
The response to Coke’s announcement helped me appreciate that for millions of people Honest Tea is more than “just a tad sweet” bottled teas – it is a different approach to ingredients, to the planet and to people – employees, farmers and tea drinkers.
Our tea growers worried that Coke’s action could be seen as a loss of confidence in organic and fair trade agriculture, a decision that could dampen the global desire to invest in these higher standards.
As one of our suppliers wrote to me, “We have been so inspired to be part of the journey that you led, and want to try to continue the effort (and fight the suggestion that this was all a failed experiment).”
Several wonderful colleagues, such as longtime HT board member Gary Hirshberg encouraged us to find a way to keep the Honest spirit alive, possibly in partnership with another company.
(Coke is holding on to the Honest brand so that they can continue to build Honest Kids).
And then my ETC co-founder Spike Mendelsohn and I realized this is our task – the core team that built Honest Tea in the natural channel – amazing leaders like Melanie Knitzer, Richard Tidrow and Kelly Cardamone – are part of Eat the Change, and my wonderful HT co-founder, Barry Nalebuff, is a board member.
The Honest approach to organic and authentic ingredients fits neatly within Eat the Change’s mission to offer chef-crafted, planet-friendly foods.
So we are busy in the kitchen brewing up new (and old) tea blends. We can’t wait to share them with the world and prove there’s no downside to infusing your hopes for a better world into your business and your tea.