onsumers have gained a greater understanding of Kombucha’s energizing and detoxifying qualities. Sales numbers in the category go a long way in verifying the growing appeal of the products. In the conventional all-outlet combined channel, beverages that use Kombucha as a primary ingredient accumulated $40,182,068 over the previous 52 weeks ending on Feb. 16, representing a 58.2 percent increase over sales in the same period one year prior, according to SPINS, a leading provider of syndicated market research. In the natural channel, beverages that use Kombucha as a primary ingredient accumulated $50,474,070 over the previous 52 weeks ending on Feb. 16, representing a 24.5 percent increase over sales in the same period in 2012.
It didn’t hurt that for a long time [GT’s founder GT Dave] had on his label, ‘my mom had cancer, drank the Kool-Aid and cancer went away,’” Reed said. “He created a whole myth and culture understanding of the incredible health properties of Kombucha.”
Sposato took a more conservative approach toward acknowledging GT’s prominence, which could also be attributed to the fact that it was the first brand to widely market Kombucha in bottles.
“They’re obviously good business men,” Sposato said. “They’ve read the market just right.”
Despite GT’s supremacy in the category, there are a number of up-and-coming Kombucha brands that are attempting to piggyback off the company’s success and balance the currently tilted market share. Sposato calls Kombucha Wonder Drink “the little Kombucha engine that could.” Reed’s, which recently announced that its revenues last year increased by 20 percent to more than $30 million, is seeing dramatic growth of its Culture Club Kombucha line. Reed’s sold approximately 750,000 bottles of Culture Club in 2012, and forecasts that number to multiply by 10 in 2013.
“We expect it to be monstrous,” Reed said. “On a per-store basis, we’re doing more Kombucha than we’re doing all of our other products, so we expect some ser