+
upworthy
Joy

AriZona Iced Tea co-founder refuses to raise price above 99 cents, inflation be damned

The price has held steady since 1992 and Don Vultaggio is determined to keep it that way.

AriZona Iced Tea co-founder refuses to raise price above 99 cents, inflation be damned

The price of AriZona Iced Tea hasn't changed in 30 years.

In 1992, a new canned iced tea brand arrived in convenience stores throughout the U.S. The large, Southwest-themed can of AriZona iced tea would set you back $0.99, nearly the cost of a gallon of gas.

I was in high school in 1992. I now have adult children, gas prices are more than quadruple what they were back then and that same can of iced tea costs … $0.99.

The folks at AriZona Iced Tea haven't changed their recommended selling price in 30 years, through various periods of inflation, economic upheaval and a global pandemic. Even now, as COVID-19 and war in Europe is squeezing inflation to uncomfortable places, as even the cost of the aluminum to make the cans is going up, AriZona is refusing to budge on its base price.

Unlike many popular drink brands that are owned by large parent companies such as Coca-Cola or PepsiCo, AriZona is privately owned. That gives the people in charge the ability to make radical financial choices like this.


"I’m committed to that 99-cent price," AriZona co-founder and chairman Don Vultaggio told the Los Angeles Times. "When things go against you, you tighten your belt.

"I don't want to do what the bread guys and the gas guys and everybody else are doing," he added. "Consumers don't need another price increase from a guy like me."

"A guy like me," to be clear, is a company founder worth $4.3 billion who sells around three billion cans of tea per year. So yeah, he really doesn't need to pinch the average American to maximize his profits at this point. However, "don't need to make more money" isn't often a real-world reason for businesses to not try to make as much as they possibly can, regardless of how it impacts consumers.

Of course, most of us don't expect prices to remain steady forever. We expect incremental price increases over time, and don't generally mind as long as we don't feel any drastic changes. But it's definitely refreshing to see businesses that insist on keeping prices low, especially when so many take advantage of inflation news to gouge people unnecessarily.

Take Costco, for instance. You can buy a ginormous hot dog, top it with all the ketchup, mustard, relish and onions your heart desires, and wash it down with a 24-oz soda for a ridiculous $1.50. The meal combo has been the same price since 1985, which resulted in an absolutely epic (and also totally true) tale of Costco founder Jim Sinegal telling Costco CEO Craig Jelinek, "‘If you raise the [price of the] effing hot dog, I will kill you." Rather than raise the price, Costco created its own hot dog manufacturing plant.

AriZona isn't just sitting back and taking the hit, though. One way it's cutting costs is by narrowing the can at the top to use less aluminum, the price of which has gone up due to tariffs in addition to overall inflation.

“If you keep doing those things, you can kind of offset costs and rising costs, and get the consumer value and the ability to buy your product and everybody’s happy,” Vultaggio explained to TODAY.

"Everything (people are) buying today there’s a price increase on," he said. "We’re trying to hold the ground and hold for a consumer who is pinched on all fronts. I’ve been in business a long time and candidly I’ve never seen anything like what’s going on now."

In a world that's experienced so much change and upheaval in recent years, it's nice to know that at least one thing is holding steady—even if it is just a can of iced tea.

(Also nice to now they have a sense of humor about it. Check out their April Fool's Day tweet with their 9 cent mini-can.)

A map of the United States post land-ice melt.


Land ice: We got a lot of it.

Considering the two largest ice sheets on earth — the one on Antarctica and the one on Greenland — extend more than 6 million square miles combined ... yeah, we're talkin' a lot of ice.

But what if it was all just ... gone? Not like gone gone, but melted?

Keep ReadingShow less
Modern Families

‘Hard pill to swallow’: Mom shares why some adult children don’t talk to their parents

"How your kids treat you when they are no longer in need of food and shelter, is a direct reflection of how you made them feel when they needed you to survive."

Parent and child deal with the pain of estrangement.

Even though humans are biologically hard-wired to form strong attachments to our parents, in many cases, these relationships become estranged as the children age. A recent poll found that nearly 1 in 4 adults are estranged from their families.

Six percent are estranged from their mothers and 26% have no contact with their fathers. It’s believed that these days, more children are comfortable distancing themselves from their parents because it’s good for their mental health.

“I think it relates to this new desire to have healthy relationships,” Rin Reczek, a sociology professor at the Ohio State University, said, according to The Hill. “There might be some cultural shifts around people being allowed to choose who is in your family. And that can include not choosing to have the person who raised you be in your family.”

Keep ReadingShow less

It's rare enough to capture one antler being shed

For those not well versed in moose facts, the shedding of antlers is normally a fairly lengthy process. It happens only once a year after mating season and usually consists of a moose losing one antler at a time.

It’s incredibly rare for a bull moose to lose both at the same time—and even more rare that someone would actually catch it on film.

That’s why shed hunter (yes, that’s a real term) and woodsman Derek Burgoyne calls his footage of the phenomenon a “one-in-a-million” shot.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Loretta Lynn's granddaughter wows 'American Idol' judges with raw original song

Emmy Russell's original song "Skinny," featuring lyrics about body image and eating disorders, nearly brought everyone to tears.

America Idol/Youtube, Promotional image of Loretta Lynn/Wikipedia

Emmy Russell (left) and her grandmother Loretta Lynn (right)

Emmy Russell, granddaughter of country music icon Loretta Lynn, proved that she was an artist in her own right during a recent episode of “American Idol.”

The 24-year-old singer-songwriter from Nashville auditioned in front of judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan during the show's Feb. 25 episode, during which she opened up about wanting to not live in her grandmother’s shadow.

"She's one of the biggest country music singers of all time, but to me she's just Grandma," she said, adding "I think I am a little timid, and I think it is because I want to own my voice. That's why I want to challenge myself and come out here."

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Jimmy Fallon asked his viewers if they've ever been caught red-handed. Here are 15 of the best responses.

You can’t lie about it, you can’t take it back, all you can do is pray for forgiveness.

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images


There is nothing worse than being caught in the act when you're up to no good. You can't lie about it, you can't take it back, all you can do is pray for forgiveness.

"Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon asked his viewers if they had ever been caught red-handed and their responses on Twitter were hilarious.

Here are 15 of the funniest and/or most embarrassing Tweets.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

Her mother doesn't get why she's depressed. So she explains the best way she knows how.

Sabrina Benaim eloquently describes what it's like to be depressed.

Sabrina Benaim's “Explaining My Depression to My Mother."

Sabrina Benaim's “Explaining My Depression to My Mother" is pretty powerful on its own.

But, in it, her mother exhibits some of the most common misconceptions about depression, and I'd like to point out three of them here.
Keep ReadingShow less