Honest Tea, the nation’s top-selling organic bottled tea, is quietly building another category-leading brand a few aisles over.

The Honest Kids line of organic juice drinks today accounts for 30 percent of Honest Tea’s total business and 60 percent of its growth1. The brand continues to win over parents seeking lower-sugar, organic juices for their kids – which is leading to wider distribution in retail and restaurant channels.

“Honest Kids has largely grown on its own because it’s a product moms and dads are naturally looking for,” says Honest Tea General Manager Ami Mathur.

Honest Kids

Honest Tea Co-founder and TeaEO Emeritus Seth Goldman got the idea to extend his “just a tad sweet” organic vision to juice when his kids asked him why the company didn’t offer a similar drink for them.

Honest Kids launched in 2007 and, in 2013, the company reformulated all varieties of the popular pouches by removing organic cane sugar and boosting the juice content. All six flavors of Honest Kids (Super Fruit Punch, Appley Ever After, Berry Berry Good Lemonade, Cherry Go Round and Twisted Tropical Tango) are now sweetened only with fruit juice and have 40 calories per 6.75-oz. pouch. Some varieties are also offered in 6-oz. juice boxes and 59 oz.-multi-serve bottles.

“The decision to reformulate kick-started the Honest Kids franchise,” Mathur says. “Over the last five years, our sales have grown more than 30 percent every year as the overall category declined2.”

'“Over the last five years, our sales have grown more than 30 percent every year as the overall category declined.'


Mathur attributes the brand’s success to the fact that it hits the sweet spot of what parents today want for their families.

“It starts with the USDA-certified organic label,” she explains. “Many shoppers enter the organic and natural foods space when they have kids. And new moms are drawn to the fact that Honest Kids has half the sugar of the average juice drinks on the market, and is naturally sweetened with fruit juice.”

Honest Tea has followed a similar approach to building the Honest Kids brand as it did with its flagship trademark, bypassing mainstream advertising and instead using social media and grassroots marketing to create buzz.

“It’s about figuring out how to get the product into people’s hands by partnering with retailers on in-store merchandising,” Mathur said. “Because first and foremost, people are discovering Honest Kids on the shelf.”

With the organic movement now fully embedded in the mainstream grocery and mass retail landscape, parents can find Honest Kids on more shelves in more stores. The brand is making headway in the foodservice channel, too. Wendy’s and Chick-fil-A now offer Honest Kids juice boxes, and this week the brand rolled out in all SUBWAY restaurants nationwide.

Honest Tea Honest Kids

“With Honest Tea, we’ve seen high repeat purchase rates among those who try the product first in foodservice and then seek out the brand at retail,” Mathur says. “And we’re hoping to see the same with Honest Kids… by making the brand more broadly available at foodservice, it becomes a trial package in foodservice and we will see a halo effect in our shelf-stable business.”

Looking ahead, Mathur hinted at more innovation in the Honest Kids pipeline, and co-marketing with Honest Tea.

“Our research shows that people who purchase Honest Kids are twice as more likely to buy Honest Tea and seven times more likely to buy a product from our portfolio3,” she said. “We have big plans for this brand and its role in the Honest family.”

 

1Source: Matrix

2Source: Nielsen

3Source: Ibotta