Following Coca-Cola’s May announcement that it would discontinue Honest Tea products this fall, Honest Tea founders Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff announced Tuesday their return to the bottled tea business with the launch of Just Ice Tea.
Goldman and Nalebuff, who started Honest Tea in Bethesda 24 years ago, will launch their new teas alongside celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn, accord to a news release from the Eat the Change, the company founded by Goldman and Nalebuff in 2020.
Eat the Change started offering planet-friendly snacks before expanding into beverages.
“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,” Goldman said in the release. “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.”
According to the release, the brand is named “Just Ice” in reference to “the set of working standards and environmental principles the team aims to support through Fair Trade premiums and working standards.” The brand is also committed to supporting the planet with varieties that are certified organic and avoid the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers
“We didn’t want to leave our loyal customers high and dry, either,” said Nalebuffin the release. “Challenging the line from F. Scott Fitzgerald, he predicted ‘We think Act 2 will be even better.’ ”
There will be some key differences between Just Ice Tea when compared to Honest Tea. Crafted by Mendelsohn, the tea products will come in glass bottles only and will be made with Fair Trade Certified organic agave and/or honey instead of cane sugar, and will be a little less sweet.
“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,” Mendelsohn said in the release. “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.”
The launch will start with six flavors priced between $2.69 and $2.89: Berry Hibiscus Herbal Tea, Honey Green Tea, Moroccan Mint Tea, original Green Tea, Peach Oolong Tea and ½ Tea ½ Lemonade.
Local retailers set to carry Just Ice Tea include but are not limited to: Whole Foods Markets, MOM’s, Roots, Yes! Natural Markets, Giant Foods and Dawson’s Market, according to the release.