Kombucha: The Trend That Just Won't End

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Hannah Crum and Alex LaGory
Hannah Crum and Alex LaGory

Editor’s Note: This article is from the new World Tea Expo 2019 white paper, “The Next Wave in Tea: Trends, Issues & Opportunities.” The complimentary report offers valuable insights and advice from some of the top experts and leaders in specialty tea.

To download the free white paper, visit https://www.worldteaexpo.com/en/attendee-resources/whitepaper.html.

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At World Tea Expo, it will come as no surprise that the hottest new beverage trend is tea based. Kombucha, an ancient elixir produced by fermenting sweetened tea with a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) is a sweet-sour natural beverage with a host of organic acids, digestive enzymes, vitamins, polyphenols and more.

Although the first sip can be a challenge to the uninitiated, many find the body craves more due to its nutrient rich profile. Most brands are sold raw to ensure the live culture and organic acids remain in their natural state, however a few brands are pasteurized and typically add probiotics.

Everyone from celebs and athletes to moms and millennials are drinking Kombucha. Once relegated to Whole Foods, consumer demand has driven phenomenal growth rates in the natural channel (20 to 30 percent per year) that have flooded into traditional grocery and convenience stores at even higher rates (30 to 60 percent), prompting most major chains to launch their own private label brands.

Globally, the Kombucha market is estimated at over $1.2 billion with projections reaching $5.25 billion by 2025. While that may be a drop in the proverbial soda can, slipping sales has “Big Soda” seeking answers. Currently, Pepsi owns KeVita while Coke owns Mojo, an Australian brand, and a variety of investments from Peet’s Coffee to Molson-Coors have staked their claim in the Kombucha space. Expect more large beverage makers to acquire Kombucha brands in the coming years.

The next trends within the category include hard Kombucha, where producers add higher alcohol yeasts to create beverages with three to 8 percent ABV, as well as CBD infused Kombucha. Many producers are also switching from bottles to cans. Lighter packaging translates to lower transportation costs and convenience for consumers to bring to beaches, camping, hiking and other venues that prohibit glass.

Download the World Tea Expo white paper here:https://www.worldteaexpo.com/en/attendee-resources/whitepaper.html.

Hannah Crum and Alex LaGory created KombuchaKamp.com in 2004 with a mission to “change the world, one gut at a time” by providing quality information, quality cultures and quality support for home ferments. They have also authored the award winning, Amazon Best Seller, The Big Book of Kombucha, and founded Kombucha Brewers International trade association, to unite and advocate for the commercial Kombucha bottling industry worldwide. A popular speaker about Kombucha, fermentation, and bacteriosapiens, Hannah, aka “The Kombucha Mamma,” is frequently featured at corporate & health conferences, festivals and events.

Dive Deeper in this World Tea Expo Session

Kombucha Tea - Boost Your Bottom Line with Functional Fermented Tea will provide the latest updates on the Kombucha industry and show how incorporating this tea based beverage into your business can increase sales, on June 13, 2019, 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. in room N256.

Visit the Kombucha Pavilion at World Tea Expo

Kombucha Brewers International, a non-profit trade organization representing the commercial kombucha beverage category to bolster the industry, will be in booth 652.

Brew Dr. Kombucha, based in Portland, Oregon crafts kombucha with loose-leaf organic teas and herbs and will be in booth 648, across from the Brew Dr. Lounge.

Kombucha Town, based in Bellingham, Washington, is committed to sustainability and will be in booth 753.