Co-founders of Honest Tea Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff announced their return to the bottled tea business alongside celebrity Chef Spike Mendelsohn with the launch of Just Ice Tea, a ready-to-drink organic iced tea brand focused on sourcing simple ingredients and Fair Trade Certified teas and sweeteners. The organic tea line will hit shelves nationwide beginning this September and is the latest addition to Eat the Change, the planet-friendly snack (and now beverage) company founded by Goldman and Mendelsohn in 2020.
The news for Eat the Change’s expansion into the bottle tea space follows The Coca-Cola Co.’s May announcement that it would discontinue Honest Tea this fall. Goldman and Nalebuff founded Honest Tea in Bethesda, Md., in 1998.
“Just Ice Tea is picking up where Honest Tea left off, but we are tripling down on our commitments to our core values ― Fair Trade Certified, organic and just sweet enough,” said Goldman, co-founder of Honest Tea, Just Ice Tea and Eat the Change, in a statement. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to once again serve, and hopefully expand, the community of tea growers and retailers we assembled who were abandoned by the discontinuation of Honest Tea.”
The brand is named Just Ice Tea because “Just Ice” refers to the set of working standards and environmental principles the team aims to support through Fair Trade premiums and working standards. The brand also is committed to supporting our planet with varieties that are certified organic and avoid the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers, it states.
“We didn’t want to leave our loyal customers high and dry, either,” said Nalebuff, co-founder of Honest Tea and Just Ice Tea, in a statement. “Challenging the line from F. Scott Fitzgerald, he predicted ‘We think Act 2 will be even better’.”
Honest Tea consumers will recognize new renditions of crowd favorites with Just Ice Tea. Although similar, some key differentiators to note are: no cane sugar (Fair Trade Certified Organic agave and/or honey are used for sweeteners), glass bottles only, a bit less sweet, and chef-crafted by co-founder Chef Mendelsohn who leads innovation at Eat the Change.
“Teaming up with Seth and Barry, leaders with a proven track record from the success of Honest Tea, to launch the next generation of bottled tea is truly a milestone moment for me," said Chef Mendelsohn, co-founder of Just Ice Tea and Eat the Change, in a statement. “Innovation is my favorite part of being a chef, and we're excited to introduce this new line of chef-crafted blends made with the highest quality tea leaves from our trusted suppliers."
Just Ice Tea will launch with six SKUs with a suggested retail price of $2.69-2.89. The following are the flavor names and varieties available:
- Berry Hibiscus Herbal Tea: Organic herbal hibiscus and blackberry leaves are brewed and blended with blackberry juice for a fruity and earthy caffeine free blend
- Honey Green Tea: Real-brewed green tea leaves and a “just sweet enough” taste of agave and honey offers a classic taste of this popular blend
- Moroccan Mint Tea: Blend of real brewed green tea and mint makes for a refreshing taste with a hint of honey at only 35 calories for the whole bottle
- Original Green Tea: Smooth, unsweetened green tea is as simple as it gets. No flavoring (except from real-brewed tea leaves) and no sweetener ― just the clean taste of real brewed green tea
- Peach Oolong Tea: Real-brewed oolong and black tea leaves blend with the flavor of fragrant sweet peaches at just 60 calories per bottle
- ½ Tea ½ Lemonade: Real-brewed and black tea leaves blend with the sweet, citrus taste of classic lemonade. Two favorites, one bottle
Just Ice Tea will be distributed nationwide and begins to hit shelves this September. Just Ice Tea is available first at Sprouts Farmers Market nationally, and PLNT Burger locations in New York City. Other retailers set to carry Just Ice Tea include but are not limited to Whole Foods Markets, Hy-vee, Town & Country, Central Market, New Seasons Market, Erewhon, MOM’s, Roots, Yes! Natural Markets, Giant Foods, PCC, Dawson’s, Market of Choice, ION Group, Oliver’s, Rainbow Grocer, The Food Bin, Ellwood Thompson’s and The Common Market.
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