Cooper Tea and Third Street Chai Merge


Cooper Tea Company  and Third Street Chai have merged to become “DrinkWorks” a manufacturer of branded organic and conventional beverage concentrates.

The merger enables both companies to leverage relevant brand and positioning strengths, forming a larger foundation for growth for each within their respective markets, according to the new firm.

Cooper Tea and Third Street will offer a combined product portfolio that will serve both the natural/organic and conventional grocery markets, as well as restaurants, coffee shops and other foodservice operations. Both companies will operate independently under the “DrinkWorks” banner.

Cooper Tea crafts premium organic and conventional iced tea and tea-related beverages including B.W. Cooper’s Iced Brew Tea-brand products. Additionally, Cooper Tea brings its global sourcing relationships and national foodservice network to DrinkWorks. Third Street Chai brings its own proprietary brew process and production facility, which brew organic and Fair Trade chai teas, yerba maté and lemonade beverage concentrates under the Third Street and Pixie Maté brands. Third Street also brings a strong reputation for sustainable business practices and a solid market footing in the natural grocery marketplace.

Last summer the companies jointly launched a co-branded line of iced tea concentrates, which was the most successful new specialty item in two Whole Foods Market regions. The partnership clearly presented the strong synergies of both companies, and its success led to the eventual merger.

“This is an exciting move that positions us to offer innovative new products,” said Chairman and CEO of Cooper Tea, Barry W. Cooper. “Both companies are involved in the natural and organic iced tea concentrate business. With the consumer desire for greater convenience and the societal push to reduce packaging, it’s a good place to be."

“We are in the same business, but currently have no overlap in distribution and sales channels," says Cooper. "This merger will open up significant growth opportunities. We are poised to be a leadership force for specialty, artisan-crafted natural and organic tea concentrates, which are also innovative and earth-friendly. Our entire product portfolio is ‘better for you – and better for the planet’. It’s definitely a winning combination.”

 “Our partnership is well aligned and straightforward," says John Simmons, Third Street founder and president, "We’re both passionate about crafting the finest beverages with an ethical business model."

The two firms nimble and innovative in responding to changing market demands and operate from a place of fairness and integrity, adds Simmons. "We will increase efficiencies within the back-end business platforms as well as in research and development. We plan to fully utilize Third Street’s organic manufacturing facilities and leverage Cooper’s relationship with tea suppliers worldwide. Our plan is to enable both Cooper Tea and Third Street to stay unique and remain true to their respective brand profile and positioning. Both brands have loyal fans; we don’t intend to change what’s clearly working.”

Simmons will join the Cooper Tea board of directors as part of the merger, and remain President of Third Street.

Sources: Third Street Chai, Cooper Tea Company