The story of Honest Tea is one of passion, grit, and smarts. When the young student, Seth Goldman, emailed his wise former professor at Yale, Barry Nalebuff about “that idea for a less sweet beverage”; both had a hunch that there was a big void in the beverage space. That passion was ignited three years earlier when professor Nalebuff presented a case study profiling the beverage industry to his management class – it was at that time that they discovered the magnitude of the problem.
While the world health organization was suggesting that as individuals, we shouldn’t consume more than 10 teaspoons of added sugar per day, the typical16-oz bottle of iced tea contained twelve; and shockingly, many consider Iced Tea, a healthy alternative. Soon after their initial email exchange,Seth made a return trip to New Haven to try out Tea recipes on friends and ‘talk things over’ with Barry. It was during that visit that they got enough validation for Seth to make the bold decision to leave his prominent role at The Calvert Group because he “can’t ask others to invest if I’m not completely invested myself. That means no fall-back plan.”
All along, these two were committed to doing something big to contribute to the health of society, and “to provide better-tasting, healthier teas the way nature and their cultures of origin intended them to be.” Less than ten years after they started, Coca-Cola came calling and today, the Honest brand has never been stronger. In their part memoir, part instruction manual, Mission In A Bottle, Seth and Barry chronicle each step of their journey; but it was the first 100 days that had the most significant impact; here’s why!