Here's another exchange with Julie, the Honest Tea customer who is disappointed that we made a deal with Coke.
Optimists within your company have asserted that Honest Tea is not selling out. Rather, they say, Coca-Cola is "buying in." Only time will reveal whether this is the case, or if this "buy in" is simply the corporation's latest foray in corporate green-washing and beverage market monopolization. After all, they're the ones who now have two of five seats on the board of Honest Tea -- not the other way around.
I agree with you here, and I encourage you to keep a close eye on what we sell and how we sell it. If we change our fidelity to the Honest brand, please let me know and I'll respect your right to take your business elsewhere. If we stay Honest, I believe we deserve your business. We still maintain governance control, and last week when the president of Coke North America was receiving an award from the National Recycling Coalition, he said, "We want Coca-Cola to be more like Honest Tea than the other way round."
SETH GOLDMAN | Columnist | Co-founder of Honest Tea
Seth Goldman is Co-Founder and TeaEO of Honest Tea, the company he co-founded in 1998 with Professor Barry Nalebuff of the Yale School of Management. Today, Honest Tea is the nation’s top selling organic bottled tea, and is carried in more than 100,000 outlets. Under Seth’s leadership, Honest Tea has developed innovative partnerships with its organic and Fair Trade Certified™ suppliers. Seth graduated from Harvard College (1987) and the Yale School of Management (1995), and is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. Seth and Barry are the authors of the New York Times bestseller Mission in a Bottle, a business book told in comic book form, which was published in September 2013.