From organic, fair trade-certified teas to sweeter, more fruit-forward varieties, Coca-Cola North America’s beverage portfolio offers something for all tea fans.
The ready-to-drink (RTD) tea category is projected to grow five times faster than the total nonalcoholic ready-to-drink (NARTD) industry over the next five years, with premium bottled teas driving nearly all of this growth and bringing new consumers of all ages into the category.
“More people today are looking for authentic, great-tasting teas, or teas with functional benefits like natural antioxidants or vitamins –in convenient, on-the-go packages,” said Geoff Henry, vice president & GM, coffee and tea, Coca-Cola North America. “Several health and wellness and overall lifestyle trends are driving the popularity of premium teas, including consumers time starved for convenience, the globalization of consumer tastes, and a desire both for cleaner labels with more ingredient transparency and cultural experiences through provenance-related teas.”
Coca-Cola North America offers two premium teas (Gold Peak and Honest Tea) and two refreshment teas (Peace Tea and FUZE) –each with unique yet complementary profiles and personalities. This portfolio has led the RTD tea category in total dollar share gains over the past three-and-a-half years.
Here’s a brand-by-brand look at this diverse and dynamic lineup:
In 2015, Gold Peak became the first-everCoca-Colabrand to cross $1 billion in annual retail sales in a single country (most of the company’s billion-dollar brands are sold in multiple markets), and the “taste that brings you home” continues to post solid growth year after year. Gold Peak fans can choose from several varieties –including Sweet Tea, Lemonade Tea, Unsweetened Tea, Slightly Sweet Tea, Diet Tea, Raspberry Tea and Green Tea –in a range of packages, including multi-serve carafe bottles in the refrigerated section, and in a variety of sizes in the shelf-stable RTD iced tea aisle.
“When you think of authentic tea taste, no matter how you define it –sweet, unsweet or half-and-half –Gold Peak has a tea for you,” said Aaliyah Shafiq, brand director, Gold Peak. “There’s just something about the comforting feeling of home people want to experience, even when they’re not physically at home."
Gold Peak’s consumer base is a multicultural group of 25 to 49-year-olds the brand calls “We lifers.” “These are people who embrace the ‘we’ of family and friends versus the ‘me, myself and I’,” Shafiq said. “They are nurturing and optimistic and appreciate the comforting sense of home.”
A new advertising campaign featuring TV, outdoor, radio and experiential marketing highlights Gold Peak’s role in moments of togetherness. Creative elements include a Waze app integration that will surface Gold Peak messaging when a driver pulls up directions for “home”, and airport activations during peak holiday travel periods when passengers are headed home. Sampling activations at family-friendly food festivals and other events tap into the brand’s natural connection with food (more than 60% of Gold Peak consumption occasions are paired with a meal).
The nation’s #1 bottled organic tea is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2018 with the national rollout of a slimmer version of its iconic glass bottle, which was previously exclusive to the natural foods channel. A lineup of 15 Honest Tea flavors –including Golden Turmeric Herbal, Lemon Grove and Mango Matte –is available in the artisanal, single-serve bottles. More mainstream, fruit-forward varieties of Honest Tea are sold in single-serve PET bottles primarily in traditional grocery stores across the U.S.
Honest Tea’s core consumers are 25 to 39-year-old “first steppers” who are approaching major milestones and life changes –such as having a first child –and juggling career and family. This mostly Millennial group is active, tech-savvy and passionate about all things health and wellness.
New TV advertising features Honest co-founder and TEO Emeritus Seth Goldman in a United Nilgiri Tea Estate garden in Korakundah, India, where he discusses the brand’s 20-year history its commitment to providing organic, Fair Trade Certified “Just a Tad Sweet” teas. The new glass bottle is at the heart of the campaign, which also includes outdoor ads and sampling in key markets.
“When Seth co-founded Honest in 1998, he was a true disruptor in the tea category,” said Clare Koller, group director, Honest Tea. “Since then, we’ve seen a lot of competition in the market of lower-sugar sweet teas and organics. The glass bottle leans into our heritage while helping us continue to differentiate our premium offering.”
Looking ahead, Koller sees an opportunity to not only extend the Honest Tea footprint, but to continue building the Honest masterbrand through category extensions like Honest Kids and Honest Sport.
“Seth’s original mission to democratize organics lives on, and we remain committed to Honest’s fundamental brand guardrails,” Koller said. “Being a part of the Coke network has helped us to grow distribution from 15,000 stores to more than 115,000 stores, and now we continue to find ways to give families and individuals organic brands they can trust throughout their day.”
Peace Tea is a fun, free-spirited brand that has built a loyal following among 13 to 24-year-olds with seven bold, fruit-forward flavors –Caddy Shack, Razzleberry, Georgia Peach, Sno-Berry, Texas Style Sweet Tea, Green Tea, Sweet Lemon and Texas-Style Sweet Tea –offered in a colorful, 23-oz. can.
“Our fans love the brand’s playful look and authentic, joyful and spontaneous personality,” said Danielle Levy Fisher, director of brand management, Peace Tea and Fuze. “Peace Tea encourages you to stay true to yourself, be kind to others, and help make the world a better place.”
Along these lines, the brand recently launched itsfirst national campaign –“Choose Peace” –which takes its peaceful salute rallying cry a step further by encouraging and celebrating “Randomer Random Acts of Kindness. ”For every “like” of a Peace Tea Randomer Random Act of Kindness on social media, Peace Tea will donate $1 to RandomActs.org, a charity that funds random acts of kindness around the world. Commenting or Sharing the post will increase Peace Tea’s RandomActs.org donation to $2.
FUZE is all about flavor: big, bold flavor; offering a fusion of bright fruit flavors with refreshing teas. This year brought the launch of FUZE Antioxidants, a line of refreshment teas infused with natural antioxidants and vitamins B6, B12 and C to deliver authentic tea taste with a delightful fruitiness. Fans can choose between low-and full-calorie options in four new FUZE flavors –Meyer Lemon Black Tea, Summer Peach Black Tea, Tropical Mango Green Tea and Blueberry Black Tea.
FUZE is offered in a variety of packages, formats and locations –including mass retail, convenience stores –and fresh-brewed varieties are offered in Subway restaurants. The brand was recently added to the Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain dispenser and quickly emerged as a fan favorite.
The brand appeals to a broad range of “healthy hedonists” –from Gen Z to Gen X –who embrace a healthy yet laid-back and fun lifestyle.
FUZE is a playful, vibrant brand that gives people a refreshing, delicious break in their day and helps them feel great,” Fisher said.