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 the President and TeaEO of Honest Tea, the company he co-founded in 1998 with Professor Barry Nalebuff of the Yale School of Management. He's preparing the September release of a graphic novel titled Mission in a Bottle.