One option Coke presented, he said, was simply to eliminate the “no high-fructose corn syrup” banner. But Mr. Goldman argued that including the notification was a key signal to buyers that there were no hidden ingredients in the drink, an important issue given the growing chorus questioning whether high-fructose corn syrup contributed to the risk of obesity in adults and children.
HONEST TEA makes juices and teas with natural sweeteners, including the pouch drinks Honest Kids. In early 2008, Coca-Cola took a 40 percent interest in the Bethesda, Md.-based company, which had revenue of $47 million last year. Coke has an option to buy the whole company next year.
THE CHALLENGE Maintaining Honest Tea’s integrity while adjusting to a new relationship with a financial backer that has a different way of doing business.