A brief update…the Celestial Seasonings® Honey Lemon Ginseng Green Tea in the paper-based K-Cup will be discontinued and no longer available for purchase as of 1/31/11.
In keeping with our “pilot” philosophy of new product introductions, the product was launched exclusively in our consumer direct channel. This allowed us to collect feedback from consumers on the K-Cup.
Those consumers who tried the tea were very pleased with its taste attributes. But we have determined that when manufactured at mass-produced levels, the current packaging design is not performing up to our standards.
The current design of the paper-based K-Cup was developed in concert with our ongoing efforts to develop more sustainable alternatives to our product packaging. We continue to identify new suppliers who may be able to help us source packaging materials that will meet our standards. We believe we are making meaningful progress and look forward to sharing new innovations. Please visit our Brewing A Better World web site for updates.
We’re super excited about today’s announcement and introduction of our new Honey Lemon Ginseng Tea by Celestial Seasonings®. Of course, we think all our products are special, but this one is extra-special as it is packaged in our new paper-based K-Cup® portion pack.
We’ve been researching more environmentally-friendly alternatives to our current plastic-based K-Cups® for a while – bringing this product to you is a big milestone for us!
This new portion-pack is 90% paper. The rest of the portion-pack is polyethylene, which is necessary to both protect the tea and help the package withstand the intense heat that is applied during the brewing process – currently, no biopolymers (including polylactic acid or PLA) can live up to the demands of our brewing system. Unfortunately, the added polyethylene means the K-Cup is not yet recyclable or compostable but we believe it is still a big step forward.
Because it reduces our reliance on non-renewable plastics and will help us learn as we continue to research more environmentally-friendly alternatives to our current portion-pack.
All companies have sustainability challenges, a tension between where they are at today and where they want to be with respect to sustainability issues. We’re no different than other companies in that respect and as a consumer-products company, packaging is a big focus for us. What we believe makes us different is how we address that challenge – by embracing it, by running towards it, and using that tension to drive us towards new solutions.
And we will keep driving towards more and more reduced environmental footprint with our K-Cup packaging.
Stay tuned for more developments in 2011!