Skip to comments.Seth Goldman: Mayor Bloomberg and Our 16.9-Ounce Tea
Posted on 07/23/2012 9:49:45 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Is 16.9 oz. the perfect size? Who knows? We willingly submit to the unforgiving judgment of the market.
As a fellow entrepreneur with a public-service orientation, I have been a longtime admirer of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to acting on his principles. Having launched Honest Tea 14 years ago with five thermoses and a belief that consumers were thirsty for a lower-calorie natural and organic beverage, I appreciate all he has accomplished. However, I write today as an entrepreneur frustrated by a proposal that arbitrarily complicates the practical realities of commerce.
When the mayor announced his proposal to ban sugar-sweetened drinks in portions over 16 ounces from New York City restaurants, many of my friends assumed Honest Tea would welcome the news as a public initiative to complement Honest Tea's long-standing commitment to marketing lower-calorie drinks. Yet the mayor's proposal would actually prevent Honest Tea from selling most of our drinks in New York City restaurants.
Under the proposed changes to Article 81 of the NYC Health Code, food-service establishments would not be able to sell packages larger than 16 ounces for drinks that have more than 25 calories per eight-ounce serving. Honest Tea's top-selling item is our organic Honey Green Tea, which has 35 calories per eight-ounce serving and is in a 16.9 oz. bottle. We label 70 calories on the front of the package so consumers know what's in the full bottle.
We initially went with 16.9 oz. (which is 500 milliliters) because it is a standard size that our bottle supplier had in stock at the time. We subsequently invested several hundred thousand dollars for 16.9 oz. bottle molds. Is 16.9 ounces the perfect size? Who knows? As a beverage marketer, we willingly submit to the unforgiving judgment of the market. What we did not
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Rather than complain about the adverse impact of Bloomberg's idiotic proposal on your business, you should see this as a glorious opportunity. Make a hard marketing push for your product in the City's outlying suburbs, including exclusive deals at retailers near train stations in Long Island, Westchester and New Jersey.
This is the problem you face when your prime customer base is the same group of people who push with this kind of nanny-state sh!t in New York City.
Yeah. Pretty silly. Intelligent folk realize the "serving size" is the multiplier for anything on the label.
Yeah, they might as well just call it their 24-hour soda 2-for-1 ‘happy hour’.
I think the FDA with its nutritional label standardization rules, which specify the range that a “serving” should fall in, is to blame for this arbitrary distinction. Otherwise it would make sense to call the whole 16.9 ounce bottle one serving.
Nah, Rush was using the American measures long before Bloomberg started his soda jihad. A coinkydink.
Yes, but he’s blathering about it here to try to make it sound like he’s got a lower-calorie product than he has. That’s how manufacturers use the serving designation—and they’re free to determine what their serving size should be.
“As a fellow entrepreneur with a public-service orientation, I have been a longtime admirer of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to acting on his principles.”
You’d tone your embarrassing brown-nosing down several notches if Bloomberg were a conservative Christian, now wouldn’t you Goldman?
I can’t see it that way since the product has quite enough merit on its own. 6 ounces of Coca Cola (half a standard can) or 16.9 ounces of that slightly sweetened tea (the whole bottle)? I think if I were calorie counting I’d know which one I’d prefer.
That's the full extent of the "blathering" and it's tied, I believe, to a set of loose standards about what a serving can be for the sake of those FDA mandated nutrition labels. A 16.9 ounce serving would exceed this.