Honest Tea's Founder Is Back With A New Drink — Here's What To Know

In May, fans of the sustainably bottled tea brand Honest learned that they'd have to choose something else from the beverage cooler when Coca-Cola announced that it would be wiping the line from its roster due to supply chain issues and other logistical factors (per CNN). In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Honest co-founder and former CEO Seth Goldman boasted that the bottled tea was the first of its kind to obtain Fair Trade Certified status, which indicates in part that the worksites of the people harvesting its ingredients are given proper inspections, that workers feel "[empowered]," and that "a portion of the sales goes back [to workers] to invest in their community as they deem appropriate," per Goldman. The end of Coca-Cola's deal with Honest came as a "gut punch" to Goldman, who remains passionate about the brand's mission. 

Luckily, we may not have seen the last of Honest tea. Last month, Goldman took to LinkedIn to share his disappointment about being dropped by Coke, assuring fans that he was "deeply and passionately engaged in building [his] next wave of beloved/mission-driven brands." The man is true to his word. This week, the co-founder let thirsty consumers in on the details of his new ready-to-drink (RTD) iced tea. 

Just Iced Tea will be bottled by fair trade standards

Seth Goldman leans on wordplay yet again in his latest line of Fair Trade Certified iced tea, Just Iced Tea (with "just" meaning both "fair" in sourcing and "simple" in taste). The certified-organic beverages will avoid the use of "synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers," per Food Dive

Goldman took to LinkedIn again this week to share additional details about the new brand — especially in regards to its sourcing. "By committing to Fair Trade Certified sourcing we support a third-party inspection system which ensures all our suppliers comply with International Labor Organization standards (including no child or prison labor) and pay the tea pluckers and factory workers a fair wage," he explains, adding that consumers will "taste the essence of the tea, and not much more." As such, the drinks will simply be labeled either "Just sweet enough" or "Unsweetened." Goldman says shoppers can look out for Just Tea in stores "in a few months."