Chapter 6What Could Be More Inspiring Than Honesty?

THE FIRST INKLING OF A BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY CAME TO HONEST TEA’S FOUNDERS, BARRY NALEBUFF AND SETH GOLDMAN, IN 1994, WHEN NALEBUFF WAS TEACHING AND GOLDMAN WAS STUDYING AT THE YALE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT. NALEBUFF, A PROFESSOR OF BUSINESS STRATEGY, WAS DISCUSSING A STUDY OF BOTTLED DRINKS WITH GOLDMAN, ONE OF HIS TOP STUDENTS, WHEN THEY CONVERGED ON A FACT THAT CAUGHT THEIR ATTENTION: ALL NONDIET DRINKS EXCEPT BOTTLED WATER—NOT JUST SODAS, BUT FRUIT JUICES, SPORTS DRINKS, AND ICED TEAS, TOO—WERE LOADED WITH SUGAR, USUALLY IN THE FORM OF HIGH-FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. EVERY MAJOR NATURALLY SWEETENED DRINK ON THE MARKET HAD THE EQUIVALENT OF 10–12 TEASPOONS OF SUGAR IN A SMALL CAN OR BOTTLE.

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