North America is the biggest market with 39.4% of the market share.
MarketsandMarkets describes kombucha as a drink that is “made by fermenting tea and sugar with the microbial culture (which includes yeast, bacteria, and mold). It can be added with numerous essences to add different tastes to the drink”.
Leading players in the market include Buchi Kombucha, Gt’s Kombucha, Kevita, Inc., and Red Bull GmbH, among other brands. Millennium Products, Inc., was the first to introduce kombucha to the US market with Gt’S Kombucha and Synergy, MarketsandMarkets said.
“The company has achieved incredible growth and is focused on expanding gradually and organically, in every aspect of the business,” according to the report. “It is expanding its product range and is introducing innovative blends of kombucha in the market to strengthen its presence in the market.”
Kombucha and other products branded as “healthy” have been seeing great success in the US market, as a greater level of health consciousness has arisen among citizens. MarketsandMarkets also notes an increasing disposable income in the US, as well as changing lifestyles.
“The kombucha market is the fastest-growing market in the functional beverages category,” the research company said.
Consumers are also interested in products that make it easier to live a healthy lifestyle, as recent research from Mintel found that 43% of Americans believe the modern lifestyle makes it extremely difficult to be healthy. Another 80% believe that being healthy requires sacrifices.
As a product, kombucha has had success in conveying itself as a healthy product. Lauren Bonetto, lifestyles and leisure analyst at Mintel, said this is essential for health brands, as it will “ensure consumers make the best decisions for their overall well-being”.
Success as a healthy drink
Virginia Lee, senior beverages analyst at Euromonitor International, wrote in a blog post that carbonated, ready-to-drink tea sales have largely come from kombucha’s success.
“While many of kombucha’s health claims have not been substantiated by medical testing, many consumers believe that this product can help them live a healthier lifestyle,” she wrote.
Newer flavors of the product have helped its success, she said, and many of these are far more accessible than early kombucha products (which Lee described as “acquired tastes”).
MarketsandMarkets highlighted the most popular flavors, which included coconut & mangoes, apple, berries, and herbs & spices, among others.