This Beloved Drink Has Been The Same Price For Decades
From gas prices to groceries, just about everything has gone up in price over the past year. But despite ongoing inflation, there is one item that has maintained the same cost since its initial release 30 years ago: AriZona iced tea.
The iconic pastel-colored 23-ounce can of sweetened iced tea has sold for 99 cents since 1992. And Don Vultaggio, the company's founder and chairman, is "committed" to keeping it this way, even if it means making less money.
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"I don't want to do what the bread guys and the gas guys and everybody else are doing," Vultaggio told the Los Angeles Times in April. Consumers don't need another price increase from a guy like me."
Unlike Snapple, a competing tea brand that is under the beverage giant Keurig Dr Pepper, AriZona is privately owned. This means Vultaggio has total control over the price of his products.
Just about everything a can of tea needs has become more expensive; however, the supply price increases are still no match for AriZona. While the cost of aluminum has doubled over the past 18 months and the price of high fructose corn syrup has tripled since 2000, the company has been able to maintain its steady price by making various changes to its operations.
For instance, AriZona is producing a high volume of drinks at its New Jersey-based factory, using 40% less aluminum in its cans, and having drivers make deliveries at night to avoid traffic. Additionally, the brand continues to keep its marketing budget small.
"Your company has to deal with cost increases, but your customers have to deal with cost increases too," Vultaggio told the Los Angeles Times. "And if you break their back, nobody wins."
While AriZona's other drinks and snacks sell for higher prices and have higher margins, the iced tea reigns supreme for the brand, with 1 billion 99-cent cans selling per year. This makes up about a quarter of the company's total revenue.
In the end, fans of this tea won't have to worry about paying more for a can anytime soon, unlike some other items.