Survey Breaks Down Barriers to Entry for Kombucha Category

A new survey sheds light on consumers' thoughts about kombucha. (Photo: Courtesy of KÖE Kombucha)

KÖE Kombucha released the results from its recent consumer study on perceptions and challenges associated with the kombucha market. The findings reveal several untapped opportunities to welcome those unfamiliar with kombucha into the category.

In the study with 215 U.S. residents, ages 18+, participants were asked questions to gauge their interest and knowledge of kombucha.

Immunity and Health Boosting Solutions

Since the global pandemic outbreak in early 2020, consumers' desire for simple and effective immunity and health boosting solutions has climbed, according to KÖE Kombucha. Nearly 62 percent of consumers reported drinking more functional beverages to support their health since last March, and 67 percent are reaching for beverages that provide either immunity and/or gut health support.

“Kombucha has been utilized for digestive and immune system support for thousands of years,” said Louisa Lawless, chief strategy officer at Stratus Group and KÖE Organic Kombucha. “We are seeing an uptick in interest from a broader consumer base who is curious about what kombucha is and what it can do for them. The challenge is that many people find kombucha to be a little intimidating or believe that it tastes bad and certainly aren't cool with suspicious floating objects in their drinks. However, KÖE's intent is to revolutionize the market with approachable, shelf-stable flavors that are appealing to the masses. It's the kind of product that can incentivize a real 'soda swap' or healthy upgrade for a more mainstream consumer.”

Taste Is Key

As expected, KÖE's study revealed taste as an important key factor in selecting a functional beverage. A whopping 90 percent agree that flavor is a top consideration when choosing a beverage, even if the beverage is being consumed primarily for potential health benefits. But 60 percent of survey respondents reported not enjoying the taste of kombucha at all.

“With KÖE, we really prioritize fruit-forward, accessible flavors that are free from the vinegary taste typically associated with kombucha. We also filter out the unnecessary globby remnants sometimes found in kombucha, which results in a juicy and refreshing consistency,” continued Lawless.

Cost Is a Barrier

Beyond taste, barriers to entry in the kombucha category exist around cost and convenience: 42 percent of consumers don't drink kombucha because it is too expensive and 14 percent because it must remain refrigerated.

For more information about KÖE Kombucha, visit