- Kombrewcha is hoping to shake up the low-alcohol content market with its new line of 3.2% ABV organic fermented drinks, according to a company statement.
- Each bottle is gluten-free, containing less than 10 calories and nine grams of sugar. Four flavors are currently available: original, berry hibiscus, lemongrass lime, and royal ginger.
- The Brooklyn-based company is partnering with Whole Foods in New York City and Miami to launch its new line of drinks. They’re available in 4-packs of 12-ounce bottles. Kombrewcha will also be available on draft at select bars and restaurants.
Consumer interest in gut health has transformed kombucha, a fermented tea drink, from a niche health beverage to a wildly popular mainstream product.
The kombucha market increased nearly 41% to $534 million wholesale last year, according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation. Demand for the better-for-you drink continues to grow. According to Markets and Markets, the global kombucha market is expected to be worth $1.8 billion by 2020.
The question is if consumers who already buy the drink for its digestive benefits will reach for a higher ABV version instead of a beer or glass of wine.
Kombrewcha’s new beverage line has more alcohol than its traditional counterparts, but it’s 3.2% ABV is on the lower end compared to other adult beverages. On average, the ABV for beer is 4.5%, 11.6% for wine, and 37% for liquor.
This could be both a blessing and a curse for Kombrewcha. Consumers who want to grab a drink but don’t want to feel its affects too much could be attracted to this low-ABV beverage. On the other hand, some drinkers could be turned off by the fact kombrewcha has less alcohol in it than a Bud Light.
Still, this healthy, niche alcohol has a decent chance of catching on with certain consumers. A recent report found that millennials are more interested in probiotic foods and beverages than Generation X and baby boomers, which would make them more likely to sample Kombrewcha. Plus, the alcohol in the drink occurs naturally, which could be attractive to adults who try to buy natural and clean label products. The company also has a strong partner in Whole Foods, which could expand distribution beyond New York City and Miami if initial sales in those markets are positive.
Time will tell if Kombrewcha is pegged as a novelty product or a welcomed variation of an on-trend drink. If it sees strong consumer interest, the product could spur other kombucha makers to make boozier varieties of their own beverages.