Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sweet Leaf Tea Growing Rapidly

Sweet Leaf Tea Named One of America's Fastest-Growing Private Companies
(from a press release)

For the first time in its 10-year history, Sweet Leaf Tea, makers of premium and all-natural ready-to-drink beverages, has been named to the Inc. 5000 Index, Inc. magazine's annual list of the nation's fastest-growing, privately-held companies. Known as well for its irreverent corporate culture as its award-winning products, Sweet Leaf Tea has been ranked # 891 on the 2008 Inc. 5000 list.

According to industry reports, ready-to-drink beverages are a $2.8 billion industry with the premium segment growing at an annual rate of 25%. Sales of ready-to-drink teas are expected to top $4.4 billion in 2011.

Sweet Leaf Tea was founded in 1998 by Christopher, then 25, when he couldn't find a bottle of iced tea that tasted like the delicious, homemade tea his grandmother used to make for him when he was growing up in Beaumont, Texas. Shortly thereafter, Christopher's childhood friend, David Smith, joined the company and the two began production brewing their homespun tea in 50-gallon crawfish pots, using pillow cases as tea bags. Made from all-natural ingredients, including purified water, pure cane sugar and high-quality organic tea leaves, Sweet Leaf Tea is made and brewed based on Clayton's grandmother's recipe and technique.

Today, the company sells 11 classic iced-tea flavors as well as three lemonades, including a series of limited-edition lemonades sold in the summer months in environmentally-friendly, reusable Mason jars. Retailers who carry Sweet Leaf Tea products include Kroger, Safeway and specialty food stores, such as Whole Foods, nationwide. Retail prices range from $1.00 to $3.99.

Sweet Leaf Tea

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

More on Obama and Honest Tea

As noted here previously, Barack Obama is a fan of Honest Tea, most notably the Black Forest Berry flavor. Which wouldn't be worth mentioning again if not for the fact that McCain's people have brought it up. Apparently a taste for organic tea-based beverages might be an indicator of some sort of character flaw. Well, better that the sordid truth come out now than later. For more, look here and here.

Also mentioned previously at TGS, a product known as Red Espresso. This is a rooibos-based product formulated to be made in an espresso machine. David Kiley at BusinessWeek presented an in-depth review of the product recently, concluding that it's no substitute for coffee-based espresso, but isn't so bad overall.

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