Third Street Inc. announces its premium new line of fresh-brewed, ready-to-drink (RTD) iced teas is being launched exclusively with Whole Foods Market. Packaged in 1-liter bottles, it is the only line of its kind that carries USDA Organic, fair trade and gluten-free certifications, as well as being Non-GMO Project Verified. Two flavors are available: Unsweetened Black Tea and Unsweetened Green Tea. Both teas are micro-brewed from tea leaves hand-picked from the lush region of Nilgiri, India; no sweeteners are added to the zero-calorie blends.
In the effort to help supply consumers more unsweetened beverage options, Third Street worked closely with Whole Foods to develop this line of calorie-free RTD teas. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends reducing the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages to help decrease caloric intake and manage weight. A recent CDC study shows Americans are drinking less sugar-sweetened beverages and are looking for alternatives.
Founded in 1995, Third Street Chai recently became Third Street Inc. when it expanded beyond chai and began manufacturing various beverages, including iced tea. “The RTD Tea category is one of the fastest growing in the beverage industry,” said John Simmons, founder and president of Third Street. “Sales continue to grow 7 percent annually, making it a $4.8 billion category. Within this category, the unsweetened RTD teas are showing significant growth.” According to AC Nielsen, the unsweetened RTD iced tea category grew 14.9 percent in sales in 2012 and 16 percent during the same period in 2013.
Third Street is a recipient of Whole Foods Market’s Local Producer Loan Program. Whole Foods Market launched this program to provide low-interest loans that would help its suppliers grow their businesses. Third Street, a Whole Foods Market supplier since 2000 is an avid supporter of Whole Foods Market’s responsible sourcing initiatives. Both parties are proud that this line of real brewed iced teas is made in the U.S., including the bottle and case packaging.
“At Whole Foods Market, we partner with suppliers who share our commitment to quality, taste and responsible sourcing—and Third Street has a long track record of creating delicious teas that our shoppers can really feel good about,” said Errol Schweitzer, executive global grocery coordinator for Whole Foods Market. “We’re excited to share their new brewed iced teas exclusively with our shoppers.”
Third Street’s award-winning one liter iced teas will retail for $2.49. They will be carried nationally in Whole Foods Market, and will begin hitting store shelves this week.