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Honesty on the Rise in the United States: National Social Experiment Finds 95% of Americans Honest


Honest® Tea’s National Honesty Index Finds Honolulu and Washington, D.C. Among Most Honest Cities in the U.S. and Women Slightly More Honest Than Men

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BETHESDA, Md. (August 19, 2014) – Honest Tea recently conducted a national social experiment called The National Honesty Index, and the results are in. When faced with a choice to be honest or not, the experiment found that a resounding 95% of Americans were honest, up from 92% in 2013.

From July 16- August 12, 2014, Honest Tea set up unmanned racks of cold Honest beverages offered for $1 on the honor system in 60 locations across all 50 states & Washington, D.C. At every site, information was collected including the number of people who paid or stole, as well as observable characteristics such as gender and hair color. In a new twist this year, an online component was added to test the honesty of people on the Internet via an honor pact. Through a Facebook application, people were asked to share an inspirational quote on their wall, or not, in return for a coupon. In total, more than 28,000 people participated in person and online.

“We seek to infuse honesty into everything we do from the way we run the company to the organic ingredients we use, so we developed this experiment to see if people around the country share that same value,” said Seth Goldman, co-founder and TeaEO of Honest Tea. “The 95% honesty rate that we saw this year suggests that Americans are a lot more honest than we give ourselves credit for.”

The complete National Honesty Index results are available at Visitors can play a game to challenge their assumptions on honesty, analyze the statistics, and obtain a personalized honesty profile that examines astrological signs, Facebook relationship status, and other details.

Honest Tea plans to donate all of the funds collected from the on-site social experiments to FoodCorps, a nationwide team of emerging leaders that connects kids to real food, helping them grow up healthy.

Highlights of the results (Combines both digital and physical experiment data):
• Participants in Honolulu, Hawaii were 100% honest two years in a row.
• Honesty returns to the nation’s capital as Washington, D.C. becomes the most improved city, rising to 96% honesty, 16 percentage points higher than 2013.
• Minneapolis, Minn. and Providence, R.I. tie for biggest dip in honesty year over year, dropping 12 percentage points to 81% and 80% respectively.
• Participants in the online experiment (as determined by authenticating via a Facebook application) were 95% honest. People identifying their relationship status on Facebook as “separated” (100% honest) proved to be more honest than “engaged” (94% honest).
• Again, women proved to be more honest than men slightly edging them out 95% to 93% honest.
• For the second year in a row, blondes came out as the most honest hair color with 95%. People with black hair were the least honest at 91%.

Most Honest States:
Hawaii 98% Honest
Alabama 98% Honest
Alaska 98% Honest
Tennessee 98% Honest

Least Honest States:

Montana 89% Honest
Idaho 88% Honest
Minnesota 85% Honest
Rhode Island 83% Honest

Full City Rankings:

Rank City State Honesty
1 Honolulu Hawaii 100%
2 Lake George New York 99%
2 Manchester Connecticut 99%
2 Birmingham Alabama 99%
2 Nashville Tennessee 99%
3 Little Rock Arkansas 98%
3 Anchorage Alaska 98%
3 Wilmington Delaware 98%
3 New York City New York 98%
4 Detroit Michigan 97%
4 Clearwater Florida 97%
4 Portland Maine 97%
4 Omaha Nebraska 97%
4 Louisville Kentucky 97%
4 Indianapolis Indiana 97%
4 Santa Monica California 97%
5 Greenville South Carolina 96%
5 Arlington Virginia 96%
5 Salt Lake City Utah 96%
5 Las Vegas Nevada 96%
5 Los Angeles California 96%
5 San Francisco California 96%
5 San Antonio Texas 96%
5 Washington District of Columbia 96%
5 Baltimore Maryland 96%
5 St. Louis Missouri 96%
6 Phoenix Arizona 95%
6 Miami Florida 95%
6 Cincinnati Ohio 95%
6 Hoboken New Jersey 95%
6 Des Moines Iowa 95%
7 Bismarck North Dakota 94%
7 Philadelphia Pennsylvania 94%
7 Atlanta Georgia 94%
7 Denver Colorado 94%
7 Bethesda Maryland 94%
8 Dallas Texas 93%
8 New Orleans Louisiana 93%
8 Portland Oregon 93%
8 Cheyenne Wyoming 93%
9 Seattle Washington 92%
9 Chicago Illinois 92%
9 Rapid City South Dakota 92%
9 Orlando Florida 92%
10 Albuquerque New Mexico 91%
10 Burlington Vermont 91%
10 Houston Texas 91%
10 Charlotte North Carolina 91%
10 Gulf Port Mississippi 91%
11 San Diego California 90%
12 Boston Massachusetts 89%
12 Kansas City Kansas 89%
12 Laconia New Hampshire 89%
12 Charleston West Virginia 89%
12 Oklahoma City Oklahoma 89%
12 Missoula Montana 89%
13 Richmond Virginia 88%
13 Boise Idaho 88%
14 Milwaukee Wisconsin 84%
15 Minneapolis Minnesota 81%
16 Providence Rhode Island 80%

Media Contacts:
Kerrie Cassani-Levick
404.495.4431, 919.622.3094

About Honest Tea
Honest Tea seeks to create and promote great-tasting, healthier, organic beverages and extend economic opportunities to communities in need. Founded in 1998 in Bethesda, MD, Honest Tea is the nation’s top-selling organic bottled tea company specializing in beverages that are Just a Tad Sweet®. Honest Tea’s product lines include: ready-to-drink bottled teas, Honest® Ade and Honest® Kids organic thirst quenchers, Honest® Freshly Brewed iced tea and Honest® Fizz zero calorie sodas. All teas and juice drinks are USDA Organic and all tea leaf varieties are Fair Trade Certified™. In addition to being recognized by the United States Healthful Food Council for helping change the food landscape, Honest Tea is a multi-year winner of awards from the Alliance for Workplace Excellence and is a Montgomery County, MD Certified Green Business. Honest Tea has won Men’s Health “Best Bottled Tea” for the last six years and has been included in Women’s Health magazine’s “125 Best Packaged Foods for Women” for the last three years in a row. Honest Tea is an independent operating unit of The Coca-Cola Company.  For more information:
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