Coca-Cola is hoping to do a Ben & Jerry’s with Honest Tea, which it acquired from the founders last year, by showing that big companies (Ben & Jerry’s is now owned by Unilever) can manage ‘alternative’ brands.
So it hired Ben & Jerry’s agency Amalgamated in New York for the organic tea brand’s first foray into advertising.
Honest Tea had just 0.5 per cent of the ready-to-drink tea market in the US in 2011 but that’s a 31 per cent increase over 2010. Since Coke took over it has increased its number of retail accounts from 15,000 to about 100,000 (that’s Coke muscle for you) and introduced loads of new flavours, Honey Green Tea is its best-seller.
Amalgamated was founded in 2003 and former BBDO New York ECD Eric Silver now owns a majority stake.