It was an entrepreneur’s dream: a call from Barack Obama’s people to say that the candidate was hooked on Honest Tea and needed help finding it on the campaign trail. That meant national visibility for the Bethesda beverage company.
. . . Company founder Seth Goldman couldn’t have asked for better publicity. For the Democratic National Convention, Honest Tea created a commemorative label for its Black Forest Berry flavor, changing its name temporarily to Barack Forest Berry. Now the White House refrigerators are stocked with Black Forest Berry and a new favorite, Green Dragon.
. . . In 1998, Honest Tea had sales of $250,000. A year later Giant and Harris Teeter were among its outlets, and sales had quadrupled. By 2002, Honest Tea was the best-selling bottled tea in the natural-foods industry. Sales topped $4.6 million.
. . . by 2004, all Honest Tea flavors were certified organic, and the company had gained a loyal following. One drinker had the logo tattooed on his body.
The company is successful enough that last year Coca-Cola bought a 40% stock in Honest Tea.