Chicago named most honest city when it comes to iced tea

July 20, 2011

After coming in second to last, with a miserable 78 percent last year, Chicago was named Honest Tea’s most honest city. Yesterday in 93 degree heat, 99 percent of people offered up a buck for a bottle of Honest Tea in Grant Park.

The social experiment/marketing tool had a stand of Honest Tea next to a secured cash box and asked passers-by for a dollar a bottle. There was no one monitoring on site, though employees were nearby to restock and viewers could steam it online.

Samme Menke, a spokesperson for Honest Tea, estimated between $400 to $500 was received in Chicago when the stand was out between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. All the money donated, around $5,000 from all 12 cities plus the company's matching $5,000, will be donated to charities.

Seattle was initially the most honest, with 97 percent, but the final count put Chicago on top, followed by Boston, Seattle and Dallas with 97 percent. New York lived up to the stereotype and came in last with a mere 86 percent of people coughing up a dollar.

Second to none – in honesty.

Final results

  1. Chicago: 99%
  2. Boston: 97%
  3. Seattle: 97%
  4. Dallas: 97%
  5. Atlanta: 96%
  6. Philadelphia: 96%
  7. Cincinnati: 95%
  8. San Francisco: 93%
  9. Miami: 92%
  10. Washington, DC: 91%
  11. Los Angeles: 88%
  12. New York: 86%

Honest Tea is collecting digital data to send to the guys at Freakonomics for analysis. The temperature they're referencing came from Weather Underground, which had Chicago at 85 degrees yesterday but has since been changed to 93.

Dallas  Magazine, perhaps trying to curb the grade in their favor, developed a “temperature adjusted honesty” scale which placed Chicago in the middle of their rankings. And surprise: Dallas on top.