Why is AriZona iced tea increasingly cheap?

Selina Lee

A 23-ounce can of AriZona iced tea has been the same price for 30 years — 99 cents. Adjusted for inflation, it costs less than ½ as much as it did in 1992.

How does AriZona manage this?

Don Vultaggio, the 6-foot-8 co-founder and chairman of the private company, is reportedly a stubborn man, according to the LA Times. He’s a wealthy man, too, with a net worth of $4B+.

Vultaggio’s take is that raising prices to meet inflation will net a short-term profit but push away customers. AriZona commands a 16% market share in the ready-to-drink space and sells ~1B cans annually.

Plus, whereas AriZona loses money on things like aluminum — at $3,250 per ton from $1,750 just 18 months ago — it saves money in areas like marketing. (The company has 506.3k TikTok followers vs. Coke’s 208.4k.)

The brand even pokes fun at its inflation defiance, recently tweeting that it should “run the economy for one day” and posting a meme about itself as an inflation-defending knight.

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