Bethesda, Md.-based Honest Tea, an independent operating unit of The Coca-Cola Co., will refresh its glass-bottled line of teas to deepen the brand’s mission and broaden its impact, the company says.
In particular, all of the tea varieties sweetened with organic sugar now will be sweetened with Fair Trade certified, organic sugar to complement the organic and Fair Trade teas already being used. Honest Tea first introduced a Fair Trade certified bottled tea in 2003, and all of Honest Tea’s tea varieties have used Fair Trade certified tea leaves since 2011.
Fair Trade premiums for the organic cane sugar help fund community development projects including healthcare services, farming equipment, higher-quality schools and microloans, in Paraguay chosen by farmers. In anticipation of the move to Fair Trade certified organic sugar, Co-founder and TeaEO Seth Goldman went to Paraguay earlier this year to meet with Fair Trade sugar farmers.
New labels for the glass bottles will feature the product line’s new membership in 1% for the Planet, which commits Honest Tea to contribute the equivalent of at least 1 percent of the product line’s annual sales to organizations working toward positive environmental change. The organization’s logo now appears prominently on the back panel.
The labels also are being updated to bring to life the images and inspiration behind each tea variety as well as to link more closely to the broader Honest beverage portfolio, the company says. Inspired by the brand’s first bottles from 1998, the labels were designed in-house using its signature “T” imagery as a starting point. The art was developed in collaboration with an oil painter and expanded around the label for an artistic interpretation of each variety’s origin and spirit, the company explains. Colorful frames surround a new off-white parchment background, it adds. The labels also introduce a new brand logo that will be used across all Honest beverages.
“We are thrilled to make the switch to Fair Trade certified sugar and sign on with 1% for the Planet,” Goldman said in a statement. “To mark the occasion, for the first time in 16 years, we (nervously) took steps to refresh the look of our much-loved glass line. We surprised ourselves with the new label design — a fun, eye-catching way to expand on our story.”
Additionally, the company will add a new variety to its Just a Tad Sweet line of teas packaged in glass bottles. Honest Tea Radiant Raspberry Tea, a Fair Trade certified, organic black tea from southern India, is mixed with organic raspberry juice, blackberry leaves and other ingredients and sweetened with Fair Trade certified organic cane sugar. It will be available starting in October at natural and specialty grocers throughout the country.
“Our glass-bottled line continues to be the top-selling bottled tea in the natural channel, and even as we’re having one of our best sales years to date, we felt now was the time to double down on our mission,” Goldman said in a statement.