Eat The Change

When we launched JUST ICE Tea last year, we wanted to honor and celebrate what Honest Tea stood for but promised ourselves we wouldn’t operate with an old playbook. The launch of our new canned line is the latest example of our commitment to think more broadly and boldly about where JUST ICE Tea can go. 

The market for ready-to-drink tea has evolved since we were last in the game. According to Nielsen, 49% of tea sold in grocery stores is sold in multi-packs. We are still committed to our glass bottles, but cans will bolster our efforts to democratize organics. Not only will cans have a lower price point, but our 4-packs will be easier to take home and increase the occasions when and where people can enjoy our tea. Cans will also go into new channels where glass isn’t welcome, such as vending, convenience, health clubs, club stores, and online channels.    

Just as I did with our glass bottles, I will be sharing a little background into how and why we chose which three teas to launch. This post will be about our Lemon Tea.   

Although one of our current top sellers is Half Tea & Half Lemonade, our longtime NYC partners at Big Geyser insist that Lemon Tea is not the same thing, especially in the Big Apple. So the challenge for my co-founder, Chef Spike Mendelsohn was to come out with a lemon tea that was clearly different from our Half & Half. He started with a deep, rich black tea from our partners in Mozambique, added organic lemon juice from Spain, and then carefully crafted the perfect balance of fruitiness and tartness. The final product is a Lemon Tea with around 85% tea and 15% lemon taste. 

The next challenge was to create a premium look for our line, even though it is packaged in a conventional soda can. (Our bottling plants urged us to avoid slim cans because they can tip easily on a bottling line). Our designer, Dan Walter, came up with a fun, eye-catching pattern that we knew would look great on a shelf. 

When Spike and I were traveling in Mozambique last year, we were inspired to write limericks for each variety. Here’s what we came up with for Lemon Tea: 

Life gave us tea, so we brewed it with lemons. 

Our mission in a bottle beckons. 

It’s Just Sweet Enough™, 

Only organics, no “stuff,” 

For infinite tea drinking sessions! 

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