Why Coca-Cola is Discontinuing Honest Tea
Furthermore, today’s persistent supply chain issues have meant it hasn’t been able to meet consumer demand for Gold Peak.
Coca-Cola sees overlap between Gold Peak and Honest Tea consumers, and Sabrina Tandon, group director, RTD tea for the Coca-Cola North America operating unit, said shifting to a two-brand tea lineup will free up investment resources and supply chain capacity to better meet consumer needs and capture category share.
“We believe Gold Peak and Peace Tea are best positioned to meet consumer preferences for high-quality brewed teas with different levels of sweetness and flavor,” she noted.
[See also: What’s the First Step to Supply Chain Resilience?]
Tandon added the company will expand the Gold Peak trademark with new product and packaging innovations to appeal to Honest tea consumers.
Coca-Cola first took a 40% investment stake in the Honest brand in 2008 before acquiring it in 2011. Seth Goldman, who co-founded Honest in 1998, described the move on social media as a “gut punch to all the sweat, tears and incredible passion that went into building our beloved brand.”
He noted that he was somewhat consoled by the continuation of Honest Kids. In a recent interview with CGT, Goldman recalled the origin of the brand, describing how a conversation with his son ultimately led to a rethinking of both the packaging size and contents of children’s drink pouches — changes that had a significant impact on the larger market.
“Honest Kids came out as a 40-calorie drink in a category where everyone was selling 100-calorie drinks, and we would sweeten it only with fruit juice as opposed to sugar or high fructose corn syrup,” said Goldman. “And so Honest Kids really grabbed a significant market share and in a way kind of reset the shelves. We saw all of the competitors — and this is very much true today, if you go to the beverage shelf for kids’ drinks, you'll see that the average calorie profile is [about 60], and that there is a lot less calories and sugar in those drinks.”