Kid’s meals at Wendy’s and Chick-Fil-A are getting an organic boost to their beverage offerings.
A few months after Honest Tea partnered with Wendy’s to launch a new organic green tea beverage exclusively in the fast food chain, the company’s Honest Kids brand is now being rolled out nationwide at Wendy’s as part of a revamped kid’s meal and is currently available in select Chick-Fil-A stores. While Wendy’s has yet to formally announce the addition of Honest Kids to its menus, details of the launch have emerged on social media, including some information shared on company-managed accounts.
In an interview with BevNET, Honest Tea co-founder and TeaEO Seth Goldman confirmed that the company’s Honest Kids Super Fruit Punch variety is being sold at Wendy’s locations across the country, however, he was unable to comment on the availability of the brand at Chick-Fil-A. The flavor variety will be offered exclusively at Wendy’s until March 1.
Distribution to Wendy’s required the use of a new 6 oz. carton for the beverage, said Goldman, who noted that formulation of the drinks — which are sweetened with organic fruit juice — has not changed. Honest Tea will continue using a 6.75 oz. pouch for all other sales of Honest Kids.
The new package is also used for Honest Kids drinks sold at Chick-Fil-A, according to a company press release dated September 8. The restaurant chain’s first organic menu option, Honest Kids’ “Apply Ever After” is being sold in select locations in Florida. Chick-Fil-A said that it “hopes to make the juice available in its other restaurants nationwide by January 2016.”
“We know our guests are looking for healthier menu items, and this is a drink with fewer calories and less sugar that parents should feel good about ordering for their kids,” Matt Abercrombie, senior consultant of menu development for beverages and dessert for Chick-fil-A, said in the release. “This is just one of many ways we are focusing our efforts on adding healthier options to our menu.”
To those that might question Honest Tea’s decision to partner with two fast food restaurants, given the company’s focus on organic and better-for-you beverages, Goldman said that the addition of Honest Kids products to Wendy’s stores “is a step in a positive direction.”
“Rather than compare it to the ideal state, you have to compare it to where people are now,” he said, noting that “there are healthy options on that menu.”
Along with the rollout of Honest Kids’ in Wendy’s and Chick-Fil-A, Honest Tea has been busy preparing for a wide launch of its Refreshers line of lemonade and limeade drinks. The multi-serve products had been sold exclusively at Whole Foods stores since the launch of the line in 2013. While Goldman said that Honest Tea has yet to announce new retail partners for Refreshers, he said that its Lemonade, Watermelon Lemonade and Mango Lemonade will made available for broad distribution. Goldman said that Honest Tea will introduce new varieties for the Refreshers line, some of which will be sold exclusively at Whole Foods.
Asked about Honest Splash, a line of drinks which upon its debut in 2013 was described as an “evolution of the Honest Kids brand” designed for older children, Goldman said the beverages, lacking a significant point of difference from Kids, had been discontinued for some time.
Nevertheless, Goldman said that he believes that “there is still opportunity in that space.” Moreover, he described Honest Tea as a company that’s willing to fail sometimes, but will never stop chasing innovation.
“To me that is always the key litmus test or indicator of whether a brand is growing and vibrant,” he said. “Are they still innovating?”