By Margarita Snegireva. Coca-Cola Co reported that it made terms with Honest Tea Inc to buy 40 percent stake in this company, the latest step by the world's largest beverage company to expand in faster-growing noncarbonated drinks.
Financial terms of the investment in Honest, which makes bottled ready-to-drink beverages, were not disclosed. The soft drink maker said it may elect to buy the outstanding interest sometime in the future.
Honest Tea is a privately-held beverage company based in Bethesda, Maryland.
Honest Tea was founded in 1998 by Seth Goldman (now president and CEO, or as he calls it, "Tea-EO") and Yale School of Management professor Barry Nalebuff. They aimed to sell "bottled iced tea that tastes like tea," a less-sweetened alternative to sugary soft drinks and low-quality bottled tea. Honest Tea is best known for their line of tea products (in both glass and plastic bottles), but they also produce tea bags and other bottled drinks in their Honest Ade line. All of their products are kosher and certified USDA organic, and some are fair-trade certified.
Honest Tea has plants in New Kensington, Pennsylvania (outside of Pittsburgh) and Watsonville, California.