Today’s announcement by The Coca-Cola Company that they will be discontinuing Honest Tea is a gut punch to all the sweat, tears and incredible passion that went into building our beloved brand.
My thoughts are with our longtime partners and friends, the organic and fair trade farmers who helped develop their communities and protect their ecosystems with the tens of millions of pounds of tea, sugar, and spice they sold us.
I am grateful for the hundreds of amazing people who helped Barry Nalebuff and me grow this idea from five thermoses and an empty Snapple bottle into more than a billion bottles sold.
While I was proud of what our brand represented, I was equally proud of the incredible group of people we assembled – the relationships we built, the pride we took in our work, and the love we created as a team.
My gratitude goes out to the tens of millions of consumers who bought our drinks and who benefited from having a less sweet, less caloric, authentic drink as part of their diet.
Thank you to all the retailers, restaurants, and distributors who believed in us. Your partnership helped democratize organic and healthier drinks in a way that had never been done before.
I am somewhat consoled by the fact that Honest Kids will continue to grow and thrive. It has helped remove billions of empty calories from the American diet. I hope that work will continue to scale.
As Dr. Seuss wrote, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” I will always be proud and gratified that I was able to be part of a brand that (for 24 years) represented an effort to shift America’s diet and shopping habits in a healthier direction.
I am now deeply and passionately engaged in building my next wave of beloved/mission-driven brands, Eat the Change, Beyond Meat and PLNT Burger. I have the same urgency to promote planet-friendly, nutrient-dense diets as I did with Honest Tea.
I agree with Theodore Parker and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who said, “The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends toward justice.” But if I have learned anything, it’s that the arc doesn’t move in a straight line. That is the work we are meant to do.
And just to end on a positive note, let’s remember, we’ll always have the Rethink What You Drink video.