Tea Briefing: Kombucha

Kombucha has been brewed in homes for centuries if not millennia. Starting with a pot of sweet tea, a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is added to the brew and left alone for a week. The resulting tangy-sweet beverage delights the senses and the living nutrition invigorates the body.

Kombucha and kombucha-based products have been sold commercially in European apothecaries for at least 60 years. The first U.S. commercial brand that not only exists to this day but is also the current market leader was established in 1995 by GT Dave in his family kitchen. The home brewer turned commercial bottler is a familiar path in the kombucha industry as what often starts as a hobby can grow into a business when fueled by passion, lots of hard work and love of helping others. Local, regional and national brands have flooded the market, yet the thirst of a nation suffering from chemical toxification has created a demand that continues to grow at an appealing pace as kombucha is still not commonly known in many parts of the country. New drinkers of kombucha are eager to share their discovery with friends thus introducing it to a wider audience.

Today’s thriving kombucha industry is showing no signs of slowing down. With continued 30 percent growth in the natural channel and 50 percent growth (or more) in the conventional channel year after year, kombucha is the fastest growing functional beverage category. As consumers continue to vote with their dollars for products that support a healthy organism, and share their new-found love on social media, it seems obvious that kombucha has not even hit its peak.

Source: Kombucha Brewers International