History of Peace Tea


© History Oasis

It was a sweltering July day in the summer of '07 when a convoy of brightly-painted trucks roared their way across the blacktop, kicking up dust as they went.

At the wheel of the lead vehicle was a bearded, bandana-wearing rebel named Clyde who had fire in his eyes.

His ragged team of idealists had pooled their savings to bring a new kind of tea to the people, and they were itching for a fight.

As the convoy barreled into town, store owners gawked to see the rainbow-colored semi trucks emblazoned boldly with the word "PEACE" pull up next door to the familiar sight of Arizona's faded tankers.

For nearly two decades, the Arnold Palmer brand had dominated the iced tea trade—its 99 cent tallboys the only game in town for working stiffs looking to quench their summer thirst. But Clyde and his cohort Marley were here to stir things up...to offer natural, fair-trade refreshment to the masses.

As the crew set up a makeshift sampling stand, Arizona dispatch sent one of their branch managers to investigate.

He scoffed at the sight of these wide-eyed hippies handing out their concoctions with slogans like “one sip and you’ll swear by Birkenstocks!"

Arizona had seen competitor gimmicks come and go—what made Peace Tea’s rebel alliance think they could steal even a sip of market share?  

Clyde shot the suit-clad manager a coy smile and offered him a peach mango sample. One taste of the sweet, tangy elixir made from ethically-sourced ingredients and the manager erupted with delight.

As he grabbed a second cup, Clyde tipped his bandana with a wink.

"Far out, man! Groovy tea, ain't it?"

The manager could only nod as he gulped down more, already addicted to this radical new brew.

In the back of his mind, Arizona HQ echoed faintly...seeming more out of touch by the minute.

The times, they were changin’ indeed.

And the history of Peace Tea would never be the same.


Peace Tea ad (razzleberry)
Source: Peace Tea

In the summer of 2007, at the height of the organic food movement, an enterprising beverage company observed a gaping hole in the chilled tea market.

At this juncture in history, popular iced tea offerings were often laden with artificial sweeteners and ingredients, much to the chagrin of conscientious consumers across the nation.

Sensing a need for change, the burgeoning Monster Beverage Corporation took it upon themselves to offer health-minded citizens a delicious, natural alternative.

Hence, after months of rigorous development and testing, the company boldly unveiled Peace Tea—an all-natural iced tea sweetened gently with organic cane sugar.

Devoid of artificial flavors and colors, this new chilled tea offered customers a guilt-free way to refresh and rehydrate.

Initially launched in two pure, tasty flavors—Peach Mango and Raspberry Lemon—Peace Tea entered the beverage scene as the very antithesis of traditional bottled tea.

And with its wholesome ingredients, eco-conscious ethos and uplifting branding, this plucky newcomer was set to make quite the stir in the American tea trade.


© History Oasis

The inaugural offerings of Peace Tea in the summer of 2007 were telling harbingers of the brand's eventual essence and ethos.

With merely two pure flavor varieties—Peach Mango and Raspberry Lemon—this fledgling brand made its harmless yet striking debut. Both varieties won praise for their all-natural ingredients and well-balanced sweetness courtesy of organic sucralose.

However, beyond the beverage itself, Peace Tea presented itself as a larger concept - each bottle a visual emblem of harmony in chaotic times. Adorning the packaging were renderings of blithe spiritual symbols, including the tranquil yin-yang sphere, rendered in the pop-art aesthetic of the 60s peace movement.

For a nation engaged in military conflicts abroad and increasing political tensions at home, these bottles offered a welcome respite - a reminder of the power of peace.

Much like the anti-war protest imagery of the 60s captured the public imagination, Peace Tea's packaging design inserted itself boldly into the cultural conversation.

With flavors inspired by harmony with nature and branding that valorized pacifism over conflict, Peace Tea entered the scene as an oasis of calm—bottled proof that profit and ethics need not be at odds.


Peace Tea ad (mango)
Source: Peace Tea

In the years following its launch, the creators of Peace Tea witnessed their humble passion project evolve into a business with impressive scope and influence.

As distribution spread nationwide, Peace Tea flew off shelves—its growing fanbase drawn to both taste and ethics alike.

By 2010, three new flavors joined the Peace Tea family, each a fresh yet familiar infusion of summer in a bottle.

Crisp Cherry Lime, tropical Orange Mango, and Wild Berry with its notes of the Pacific Northwest proved winning testaments to the power of ethical capitalism.

For not only did Peace Tea refuse artificial additives on principle, but a portion of its proceeds now funded water access initiatives in developing regions worldwide.

The brand also partnered with recycling programs, youth activism movements and sustainable farming advocates. Much like the anti-war activists of the 60s themselves, the changemakers behind this tea understood that integrity is seldom stagnant, but rather an ongoing journey.

And so Peace Tea walked its talk, using its business as a force for environmental justice and social change. In doing so, it demonstrated how enlightened corporations with groundbreaking vision could push society in a more righteous direction for generations to come.


Coca-Cola made up ad
© History Oasis

By 2015, over 100 million Peace Tea can were being consumed yearly’’’a testament to the power of ethical business in an oftentimes cutthroat capitalist landscape.

Such rapid growth soon captured the attention of visionary investors, including the chief merchants of chilled satisfaction themselves: The Coca-Cola Company.

That year, this soda giant acquired Peace Tea in hopes of scaling its operations tenfold. Purists worried Coca-Cola might dampen Peace Tea's progressive spark in pursuit of profits.

Yet thus far, quite the opposite has transpired.

As of 2023, Peace Tea retains its commitment to all-natural ingredients under Coca-Cola's stewardship, its rainbow of flavors free even of natural colorings. Additionally, Peace Tea still allocates resources to sustainability initiatives—efforts that reach even wider audiences given Coca-Cola's formidable distribution apparatus spanning North America.

So while conglomerate acquisition often signals loss of identity, Peace Tea thus far has navigated maintaining its soul while leveraging corporate sponsorship to broadcast its message more widely.

And so today, Peace Tea stands not merely as a beverage, but as inspiration—proof that size and ethics need not oppose one another, but instead can align to change consumer consciousness.


Peace tea ad (peachy)
Source: Peace Tea

In conclusion, the humble iced tea launched in 2007 as a moral rejoinder to traditional bottled offerings has profoundly impacted 21st century consumer culture.

What originated as an all-natural beverage alternative essentially bottled the philosophy of pacifism itself—refreshing sustenance devoid of artificial trappings. With its psychedelic packaging that conjured the idealism of 1960s protest imagery, Peace Tea stood out boldly on store shelves awash in frivolity.

And soon, its range of sun-kissed flavors ensured mass appeal across demographics.

Thus through innovating both ethics and aesthetics, Peace Tea carved out a niche all its own—earning legions of devotees drawn to the brand’s air of positivity and authenticity.

In the years hence, Peace Tea has walked the talk - using capitalism as a conduit through which to spread goodwill worldwide.

From funding clean water initiatives to upholding ecological justice to retaining brand authenticity even after corporate acquisition, Peace Tea has demonstrated an enlightened path forward for beverage purveyors and beyond.

Much as 1960s protest posters stand today as bold reminders of conviction past, Peace Tea’s enduring legacy shall be its model for fusing ethics with enterprise.

Indeed, this humble bottled tea now occupies an esteemed place in the cultural lexicon—proof that global change flows from conscience, care and community.

More than a pleasing drink, Peace Tea endures as amplified hope—the belief that a better world awaits not someday, but begins with the smallest of steps today.