Coca-Cola Completes Acquisition of Honest Tea

March 1, 2011

Honest Tea will operate as a stand-alone business while benefiting from Coca-Cola manufacturing and distribution services.

The Coca-Cola Co. (Coca-Cola; Atlanta)) has acquired the remaining portion Honest Tea (Bethesda, MD), the nation’s leading organic beverage company, according to Coca-Cola.

Three years ago, Coca-Cola acquired minority stake in the company.

Honest Tea will continue to operate as a stand-alone business under current CEO Seth Goldman, but the company will benefit from various Coca-Cola services, including manufacturing and distribution.

The acquisition appears to be influenced by Honest Tea’s motivation for environmentally sustainable practices: all Honest Tea products are USDA-certified organic and, by March 2011, are expected to be fair-trade certified.

"Beyond growth, having the unique vantage point of a minority investee and watching Honest Tea has helped our company in many other ways, from encouraging Coca-Cola to obtain organic certification at three of our facilities, to establishing a state of the art tea brewing and filtration system at a bottling plant,” said Deryck van Rensburg, president and general manager of Venturing and Emerging Brands, Coca-Cola North America. “Additionally, it enabled us to participate with Honest in a number of sustainability initiatives on recycling.”