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AriZona tea cans still priced at 99 cents, at least in the US

June 18, 2022 GMT

CLAIM: A photo of two cans of AriZona green tea suggests the product’s price has been raised from 99 cents to $1.29.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: Missing context. The price printed on cans in the U.S. is still 99 cents, a spokesperson from AriZona Beverages confirmed. The photo circulating on social media shows a pair of Canadian cans of the tea beverage with prices in Canadian dollars. The can labeled 99 cents is several years old, and the company subsequently adjusted its recommended price in the country to CA $1.29 to reflect the current U.S. exchange rate.

THE FACTS: As inflation surges, social media users have been sharing everyday items that are being affected. But AriZona’s famously cheap iced tea remains under $1 a can in the U.S., despite a photo of the product apparently priced at $1.29 that has been circulating online in recent days.

The image shows a hand holding two cans of the company’s green tea. The left can is priced at 99 cents while the one on the right is priced 30 cents higher. “If you weren’t panicking before..now is the time,” reads a recent tweet captioning the image that has garnered more than 99,000 likes this week.

A reverse image search shows the photo has been circulating online since at least January 2021, and AriZona Beverages has repeatedly explained on its Twitter account that the higher price is in Canadian dollars for cans sold north of the border.

“This goes viral A LOT! The can on the left is in US dollars. The can on the right is in Canadian dollars. Hope this clears things up. Don’t panic,” the company reiterated in a tweet posted June 16.

A spokesperson for the company, who declined to give their name, told The Associated Press that both cans in the photo are from Canada, but the product with the lower price dates back to 2016, before it was adjusted to reflect the exchange rate between the two countries.

Visual clues on the cans in the photo also point to their provenance — both show the branding and nutritional labels in English and French, a requirement in Canada.

Some social media users discussing the photo posted images showing local retailers that have added higher price tags to their drinks. According to the company’s website, AriZona pre-prints its cans with the suggested price, though retailers can set any price they prefer. Nevertheless, the company’s recommended price for the drink remains at 99 cents.

While AriZona green tea has stayed at the same price, surging inflation has caused retail sales to fall 3% in the US, according to AP reporting. As of May, the prices of gas, food and most other goods and services have increased and inflation has risen to a new four-decade high.

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This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.