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Long Island Iced Tea - Blog, News & Ideas

Interesting tips and tricks. Things to do or to avoid. News about Long Island Iced Tea.

How Lemonade Turned Pink

How Lemonade Turned Pink

Most of us grew up with Pink Lemonade in our lives.  It was just the more fun version of Lemonade! It never seemed weird or nonsensical that it was pink, just cute! But when you do get thinking about Pink Lemonade there is no real reason why it should be pink.  I mean Pink Lemonade, although sometimes flavored with strawberries, cranberries or cherries, is usually just normal lemonade that has just been dyed pink with red food coloring.  Why does this make sense? Why red food coloring and not purple? How did this drink become such a sensation?

Well the origins of Pink Lemonade are actually kind of muddled.  There are two rival stories circulating the Internet.  The first says that in 1857 Pete Conklin, who was a concessions salesman at the circus, ran out of lemonade one day.  While he was rushing around trying to replace it he saw a bin full of pink water where a performer had just cleaned her pink tights! Rather than losing business he decided to sell this wash water and surprisingly it was a hit!

The other story also involves the circus but takes place in 1873.  Henry E. Allot a circus promoter was mixing up a batch of lemonade to sell and accidentally dropped a few red cinnamon candies into the batch turning it pink! He sold it anyway and was delighted at how much the customers loved it!

For the sake of our stomachs I prefer the second story. Although cinnamon and lemonade do not sound very compatible at least it was not wash water! But either way we are happy that pink lemonade got its start, no matter how it really began, because it is undeniable fun and cute! That’s why we decided to include a Pink Lemonade in our new line of Lemonades.  Also don’t worry we only use fruit and vegetable juice to color our Pink Lemonade, no candies or tights allowed! 

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Craft Brewing: A Hipster Revolution

Craft Brewing: A Hipster Revolution

When you hear the word craft-brewed, probably a picture of a mustachioed hipster in overalls drinking a beer somewhere in Portland, is the first thing that comes to mind. At least it is for me.  But in fact, craft brewing is not really as niche as these hipsters would like to think. 

By 1970 there were only 11 major beer companies left in the US, and they were all making basically the same thing.  But by the 80s home brewing as a concept was rising, mainly in CO and CA.  Fast-forward to 2015 and craft brewers have gathered 13% of the US beer market and a $22.3 billion dollar share of the industry.  So what made this craze take off, other than our Portland hipster?

Well craft-brewers offered variety and took a wild jump away from the 70s where every beer you could buy was a light lager.  Now you could buy from local or regional breweries and find a beer that was unique.  Choosing a beer became a way to express your self, instead of just blending into the crowd.

But you are probably thinking, okay but this is about beer, what about iced tea?  Well the definition of craft brewed is a small, independent, and traditional brewing operation, so Long Island Iced Tea is a craft brewed beverage!  We use handpicked tealeaves to brew all of our delicious flavors, never tea-flavored syrup like some of the other guys.  It tastes better and is better for you!  We are proud to be craft-brewed and be a part of the craze as a tea company.  So just like with craft-brewed beer, choosing a Long Island Iced Tea is a way to express yourself, and stand out from the crowd! 

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Get Excited - Our ALL NEW Lemonade is soon to hit stores near you!

Get Excited - Our ALL NEW Lemonade is soon to hit stores near you!

We are excited to announced the launch of The Original Long Island Brand™ Lemonade. Infused with a splash of tea and made with 100% raw cane sugar and non-GMO ingredients for a crisp, refreshing and natural taste, this premium lemonade is highly differentiated from other lemonade beverages in the US market.

Philip Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of the Company, stated, “Beyond creating a delicious and refreshing lemonade, we made sure that the “better-for-you” attributes that are prominent within our iced tea range were incorporated into our new lemonade brand.” “This exciting new lemonade is available in nine real-fruit flavors, including Traditional, Lime, Peach, Watermelon, Mango, Strawberry, Kiwi Strawberry, Cherry and Wildberries, and incorporates a subtle splash of tea essence. We feel the Company is bringing a true point of difference to the conventional lemonade brands on the market today,” Mr. Thomas added.

The addition of the lemonade brand to the Company’s portfolio comes after the recent acquisition of Alo Juice®. This further establishes the Company as a key player within the “better-for-you” beverage category. Mr. Thomas commented, “Long Island Iced Tea® products are moving successfully in stores and we saw the opportunity to leverage our brand and positioning to capitalize on a different product offering. One that we believe would excite current customers and attract new consumers to our brand.”

According to IBISWorld, lemonade comprises 8.2% of the $12.0 billion juice market in 2016¹. Lemonade sales totaled 451 million liters in 2015².

The Original Long Island Brand™ Lemonade range consists of 9 real-fruit flavors, available in both single 18oz bottles and 12-packs. The product is a natural complement to the Company’s Long Island Iced Tea®, which comprises 12 different iced tea flavors available in single 18oz bottles, gallons and 12-packs.

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Why Cane Sugar is Better for You than Other Sweeteners

Why Cane Sugar is Better for You than Other Sweeteners

Sugar is a touchy subject in today’s increasingly health conscious world. More and more people are cutting sugar out of their diets, or at least switching to less harmful sweeteners.  But when there are so many sweeteners, from stevia to coconut sugar, is it hard to know what to look out for and avoid. 

High fructose corn syrup and white sugar are the worst of the worst.  They are the most processed, most condensed, and cheapest sugars that you can buy. The more processed something is, the more nutrients are stripped from it and the less benefits it offers to your body.  This is why high fructose corn syrup is basically empty calories, there are no nutrients and most of it is stored as fat!

Raw cane sugar is less processed than white sugar and high fructose corn syrup and it is made from sugar cane instead of beets or corn.  Surprisingly white granulated sugar is usually made from beets! Because the cane sugar is less processed more of the nutrients remain and it is not totally empty calories.  Of course it is still sugar and should be consumed in moderation but you can take solace in the fact that when you drink your favorite flavor of Long Island Iced Tea it is sweetened with 100% Raw Cane Sugar! Keep an eye out for the release of our Unsweetened Flavor for days when you are kicking all sugars to the curb! 

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Recycle, Reduce, Craft!

Recycle, Reduce, Craft!

Everyone knows the famous mantra recycle reduce reuse, but the reuse part is sometimes difficult. It is often not obvious how to reuse all the things that you can recycle.  Also the word reuse itself is pretty limiting.  It seems like the only thing you can do is use it for its intended purpose.  So for Long Island Iced Tea, for example, the only option is to refill our bottles with a different beverage. But there is so much more that they can be used for! So it is time to get creative and get crafting!

First and easiest, is you can use our bottle as a vase for a cute bunch of flowers!  Or with a little cutting, make it into a planter for herbs or flowers.  This will look especially nice when we release our brand new bottle in the beginning of March!  Another practical idea is to use it for storage; nails, beads, candy etc. If you have little ones in your life, turn it on its side and with a little foam and tape, it becomes almost every animal imaginable. A lizard, a cow, a dog, a cat, you name it! Maybe even a piggy bank. In the winter decorate it to look like a snowman, with a scarf and face and everything! They can even be made into pencil pouches with a little glue and a zipper!  But the bottle is not the only part that can be refurbished.  The caps can be made into magnets, or a fun alphabet by attaching letters to them. The gallon jugs can be used too, as watering cans by poking holes in the caps or into storage bins with strategic cutting and gluing.  Some of these crafts need further instructions of course, so check out the tutorials and some other cool ideas on our Pinterest, @longislandteas!  

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Long Island's tea party - featured in Long Island Business News

Long Island's tea party - featured in Long Island Business News

Long Island’s tea party

Article from Long Island Business News

Written by: Claude Solnik

 

Philip Thomas in 2011 came up with the kind of million-dollar idea that cartoonists put in bright bulbs like halos over heads. He would roll out bottled tea called “Long Island Iced Tea,” playing off the name of the famous alcoholic drink and their own location.

What’s surprising is how quickly that turned into a million-dollar moniker. Hicksville-based Long Island Iced Tea racked up $1 million in sales in its first year, showing up on shelves all over Long Island – King Kullen, ShopRite, Stop & Shop, Fairway –and beyond.

“It was a bit easier than it should have been for such a young brand,” Thomas said. We were able to solidify shelf space with some of the biggest retailers in the region.”

After the brand expanded into a dozen states, executives a few weeks ago gathered at the NASDAQ, where they marked another milestone: They became the latest Long Island-based company to go public, under the “LTEA” ticker.

“Never in a million years did I think this small company we started five years ago would be on the NASDAQ,” Thomas said soon after ringing the exchange’s closing bell on July 29. “It’s an exciting step for the company.” Long Islanders aren’t only drinking the beverage: They’re buying into the firm. The company raised $7 million as it went public.

“It’s got Long Island in the title. It’s getting a lot of attention in our market,” said Tammy Straus, a partner at Jericho-based accounting firm Grassi & Co. “I could imagine having a company like Long Island Iced Tea public is one where local folks would want to invest.”

 

A taste for tea

While Long Island wines are making a name for themselves, the truth is tea is big business here as well. Long Island Iced Tea is only the latest firm to join Long Island’s own tea party, as local firms cash in on one of summer’s (and all year’s) hottest cool drinks.

Woodbury-based AriZona Iced Tea has grown into a beverage giant, selling dozens of flavors of tea and other beverages worldwide.

Snapple – now owned by Plano, Tex.-based Kamaron Teas – was founded by Leonard Marsh, Hyman Golden and Arnold Greenberg in East Meadow in 1972.

Whether or not any tea offers the “best stuff on earth,” beverage giants are getting big on iced tea nationwide as well.

In addition to making Nestea in Queens to be distributed by Nestle, Coca Cola has rolled out Fuze, Honest Tea and Gold Peak tea. PepsiCo makes Lipton iced tea, as the heavyweights battle it out.

Long Island Iced Tea, meanwhile, entered a crowded market, but with immediate brand recognition, die to a cocktail with a name that, according to the firm, originated on Long Island in the 1970’s.

The drink is the fourth most popular cocktail in restaurants and bars in the nation, according to a Nielsen survey this year.

“Companies spend millions of dollars for brand equity in a name. We already had it built in, “Thomas said. “We started gaining solid distribution in the supermarket channel. I think it’s a testimony to how powerful that brand name is”.

Long Island Iced Tea made a big splash, finding a market thirsty for its product, even if other low-priced, premium iced teas are on the shelves.

It has rolled out 10 flavors with more in the works, introducing products in 12 states, such as Florida, Virginia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Nevada, Rhode Island and parts of the Midwest.

 

Something’s brewing

The Boston Tea Party may play a major role in the nation’s history, as colonists tossed tea into the water to protest taxes. But lately, companies are embracing rather than jettisoning tea.

The reason is simple: Whether or not tea is liquid gold, it is a growing industry at a time when carbonated beverages are coming under ire. The U.S. iced tea market was $5.3 billion in 2014 and expected to expand at a rate of 10 pecent a year, according to an IBISWorld industry report.

“I think you are seeing the sharp declining of carbonated beverages,” Thomas said. “People are moving to a healthier alternative.”

The global, non-alcohol iced tea category is roughly $55 billion and estimated to increase at a 6.6 percent compound annual growth rate, according to a 2014 Euromonitor International study that describes yea as part of a “bright spot” in the beverage industry.

“Consumers are increasingly coming to view carbonated soft drinks, typically those that are caffeinated as well as high in sugar and preservatives, with disfavor,” according to Long Island Iced Tea’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The total volume of cases of soft drinks worldwide declined 0.9 percent in 2014, after falling 3 percent in 2013 and 1.2 percent in 2012, according to Beverage-Digest.

As soda gets slammed, more people are turning to iced tea, even if it sometimes has its own high sugar content.

 

Standing out in a sea of tea

With few barriers to entry, tea brands are coming up with ways to differentiate and expand.

They’re adding flavors such as peach, raspberry, green tea, half-tea-and-half-lemonade, guava, mango and sweet tea. Diet flavors provide another way to grow the business.

Companies like Coca-Cola use artificial flavors for big brands, but Long Island’s teas are vying for the premium sector with brewed products not requiring preservatives or artificial flavoring.

Long Island Iced Tea even touts its product as GMO free or not using genetically modified ingredients.

It uses natural cane sugar, no high-fructose corn syrup (AriZona uses high-fructose corn syrup) and a generic version of Splenda rather than Aspertane.

“Our tea concentration is higher than a lot of our competitors,” Thomas added, seeking to stand out. Much as AriZona snagged market share with low prices and high quality, Long Island Iced Tea is keeping prices low.

The firm recommends its teas retail for $1.25, or $1 on sale, for 20 ounce bottles, with gallons going for $2.69 to $2.99, and on sale two for $5.

 

Looking beyond Long Island

Vineyards grow their grapes here, but Long Island-based tea brands typically have products made elsewhere. Long Island Iced Tea – which touts its products as “Made in the U.S.A.” – uses a half-dozen third-party tea bottlers up and down the East Coast.

“We think we’ll expand on that and potentially we’ll expand into other categories,” Thomas said of plans to go beyond 12 states. “We’re looking into juices, iced coffee, energy [drinks].”

The company also is looking to bring the brand to convenience stores – it’s already done tests with Duane Reade and Rite-Aid – and independent retailers.

“It’s the beginning of our journey,” Thomas said of a short, sweet trip so far. “We’re just starting.”

He believed the brand could catch on around the globe, as he takes the Long Island name on the road to locations where it’s exotic.

“We think we have even a bigger opportunity on an international basis. Long Island screams Americana,” Thomas said. “Can we take this brand to China, Europe and Asia and capitalize on that Americana name and feel?”

What about the idea of naming a non-alcoholic drink for a cocktail? Long Island Iced Tea is eyeing that sector as well.

“We have begun exploring entry into the $215 billion U.S. alcohol industry, with the hope to establish ourselves as a multi-product alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage company,” the firm said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

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dropusaline

Have a question? Outraged that your local grocery store doesn’t stock us yet? Wondering where to go surfing on Long Island? Whatever is on your mind, we are always happy to hear from friends and new fans. Click the link below, and we will get back to you soon!

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dropusaline

Have a question? Outraged that your local grocery store doesn’t stock us yet? Wondering where to go surfing on Long Island? Whatever is on your mind, we are always happy to hear from friends and new fans. Click the link below, and we will get back to you soon!

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Long Island Iced Tea Official Website

 

 

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