Honest Tea Launches Vending Machines for Good

Jacqueline Barba
Associate Editor, Path to Purchase Institute
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The Coca Cola Co.’s Honest Tea beverage brand has rolled out interactive vending machines that enable shoppers to donate to charity in four U.S. cities.

Officially launched July 16, the vending machines give shoppers the opportunity to add a charitable donation through an "Up Your Impact" purchase and choose the philanthropic project they’d like to support.  

One hundred percent of the purchase price of the beverage and any additional donations will go to projects organized by Fair Trade USA – a nonprofit that promotes fair trade products benefiting farmers, workers and the Earth in general – as well as the Organic Farming Research Foundation – another nonprofit aimed at advancing organic agriculture through scientific research. Honest Tea has partnered with both for the past 21 years to support organic farming and fair trade, but for the first time is making the cause impact of purchases visible right at the point of sale.

“Every time a consumer makes a purchase it is a decision, but they often don’t think about it that way,” Seth Goldman, co-founder of Honest Tea, recently told Cheddar TV. “What we wanted to do was bring that to life by literally helping consumers see visually the communities they’re connecting too, the environmental impact they’re having, and then actually give them the chance to not just make a purchase but also add additional funds to support a particular cause."

The vending machines are part of Honest Tea’s new "Small decisions. Big impact" campaign launched the same day, to highlight partnerships with the aforementioned partners.

The campaign is supported by outdoor advertising as well as TV spots (view one below). The creative will run also on streaming platforms including Hulu and Amazon Fire TV, as well as on social media and e-commerce sites via display ads, according to multiple media outlets.

Honest will be activating the machines from July 16 through August 30 across:

  • Chelsea Piers in New York,
  • Grand Park in Los Angeles,
  • Cherry Street Piers in Philadelphia, and
  • Bethesda Row in Bethesda, Maryland.