honest iced tea

Coca-Cola European Partners is preparing to take on Britvic in the bottled tea category with the UK launch of Honest, the soft drink brand founded 18 years ago in the US.

Britain’s first organic Coca-Cola beverage, the challenger to Britvic’s Lipton Ice Tea is being offered by selected cafés and specialist stores in a soft launch across London - with a nationwide rollout planned for next year to tap the on-the-go market.

Three variants - Lemon Flavoured Herbal Tea with Honey, Orange & Mango Flavoured Herbal Tea, and Pomegranate & Blueberry Flavoured Herbal Tea - are available in a 500ml PlantBottle, Coca-Cola’s fully recyclable plastic packaging (rsp: £1.59). Made at CCEP’s Sidcup facility, each promises 100 calories or less, and contains brewed herbal tea (either hibiscus, lemon balm or lemon myrtle), fruit juice concentrates and cane sugar.

Honest was set up in Maryland by Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff in 1998. Ten years later, the brand - which also produces sparkling, sport and kids ranges - won a 40% investment from Coca-Cola, which bought the business in 2011.

It had been “a great success” in the US, according to Jon Woods, general manager of Coca-Cola Great Britain, which plans to expand the lineup in the UK.

CCEP commercial director Simon Harrison added the British launch signalled “the exciting next stage of our ongoing innovation strategy. It’s consistent with offering a wide portfolio of sustainable soft drinks.”