Honest Tea says Coca-Cola can help boost its expansion, message

BETHESDA, Md. Honest Tea announced that it is following the leadership of Coca-Cola to boost business, and its social mission of promoting conservation and eco-friendly consumerism. Honest Tea has been known for operating out of a “green” building and for promoting an agenda of natural health and environmental responsibility.

Coca-Cola last month announced that it has acquired 40 percent of the small, eco-friendly beverage company and invested $43 million into its operations. Spokespersons said that Honest Tea stands to benefit from Coca Cola’s distribution and manufacturing knowledge.

Some skeptics warned that great changes may loom ahead for the Honest Tea company. Experts have said that smaller companies often find that they must change their mission statements and risk losing their identity during mergers.

Seth Goldman, Honest Tea co-founder and chief executive officer, said he understands concerns about corporate partnering with an industry giant like Coca-Cola.

“I’ve gotten the e-mails. And I know there is risk attached here,” he said. He added that he believes Honest Tea can use the expanded distribution and sales volume opportunities from partnering with Coca-Cola to launch awareness about health and promote sustainable agriculture.

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