The kombucha market is in full swing, what is so special about Health-Ade?
Kombucha has developed rapidly in recent years. It has a unique flavor, fresh and natural taste. It is a fermented tea that naturally contains healthy organic acids and probiotics. It has the characteristics of low caffeine, low calorie, and low sugar.
Looking at the kombucha market, the development of various brands such as KeVita and GT’s is in full swing, which makes people very curious. The rapid growth in sales brings greater opportunities for the development of more and more companies. Health-Ade, as one of the best, is there any difference in the experience and story behind its success?
Health-Ade Kombucha was founded in 2012 by Daina Trout, husband Justin, and her good friend Vanessa Dew. They sold their products at the farmers’ market at the beginning of the period. Subsequently, the distribution channels gradually spread to traditional supermarkets, clubs, convenience stores and other channels, and became the third-ranked brand in the market.
So far, the Torrance, California-based company has received $29.1 million in three rounds of financing, with investors such as CAVU Venture Partners.
Continuous improvement of production scale and unswerving traditional craftsmanship
In the early days, the economic benefits of handmade organic kombucha were not very good, Trout recalled, “We made it for $10 and sold it for $5.” Until scale and automation changed this model.
In the past, Health-Ade needed to purchase filtered water from Whole Foods Supermarket and used manual filling. Now the company has its own reverse osmosis system, and the high-speed filling line can achieve a filling efficiency of 700 bottles per minute. Health-Ade filters water through a reverse osmosis system to remove chlorine, fluoride, antibiotics and other substances to prevent damage to the microorganisms used to make Kombucha. Then use filtered water to brew organic green tea and black tea, add sugar, after cooling, pour into a 2.5-gallon glass bottle, add SCOBY (a symbiotic strain of bacteria and yeast), and cover the bottle with a T-shirt fabric , And fermented at 80-85˚F for a week, while monitoring the sugar content, pH, flavor and other factors.
The first fermentation will produce alcohol (the yeast in the culture is converted into sugar in ethanol), carbon dioxide (overflow from the bottle mouth), acetic acid (slight fermentation, sour taste) and other organic acids such as malic acid, glucuronic acid wine, tartaric acid, Gluconic acid. In this process, the new SCOBY was born. At this time, there are no bubbles in the tea, and it is full of complex acid, mixed with the cold-pressed juice, and then enters the water tank and piping system of the bottling room.
After a short secondary fermentation occurs in the filled bottle, the remaining yeast converts the sugar in the juice, some leftover sugar in the tea into more alcohol and carbon dioxide, and the bacteria convert some of the alcohol into acid. This time, the carbon dioxide can’t escape, creating bubbles. After a period of time, the product will be refrigerated (preventing or significantly slowing down the fermentation process remaining in the bottle) and delivered to the user through the cold chain.
Health-Ade mainly provides consumers with the best flavor and highest quality Kombucha in a natural way. It is unique in that it uses all-glass containers for fermentation and packaging, thus avoiding the leaching of metal materials and plastics during production and storage; it is produced in small batches with a volume of 2.5 gallons to achieve the best fermentation quality; adopts Cold pressing technology, using the best raw materials, just to get the best taste; return to the truth, brewing real fermented products with 100% traditional craftsmanship.
Up to now, Health-Ade has launched a total of 14 different flavors of kombucha drinks, including sparkling rose, chili, kiwi, peach cucumber, blood orange, carrot, ginger, lemon, apple, pomegranate, lemon, beet, California Grapes, original flavors, etc., are non-GMO, gluten-free, non-toxic, non-pesticides and fertilizers, and are organic food certified by the United States Department of Agriculture. Each bottle includes two sizes of 8 ounces and 16 ounces, and the retail price is 3-4 US dollars.
In recent years, Kombucha has great potential and has grown rapidly, especially high-end Kombucha. Health-Ade’s unique glass bottle, organic positioning, traditional production methods and unique taste have firmly occupied the high-end market. The slightly sour kombucha is not suitable for everyone, but its sugar content, unique foaming form, and interesting flavor are lower than that of soda water. It has successfully captured the consumption orientation of the new generation of shoppers. More and more people are willing Try drinks with bolder flavors. In the coastal areas of the United States, the young generation with high incomes is the main target group of Health-Ade. More and more consumers are rejecting high-sugar and non-functional beverages and focusing on the probiotic-rich kombucha. Trout said, Women accounted for 2/3 of Health-Ade’s current consumer population, and the number of clicks on Kombucha ads showed a 50/50 male/female consumer intent.
Although with the development of science and technology, the natural fermentation process of Kombucha has been shortened by many companies, Health-Ade has always adhered to the traditional production methods, through the first and second fermentation processes, to achieve the most authentic and natural production.
Truth comes first, Health-Ade has its own perseverance. Trout said, “I am a purist. My view of the true meaning of kombucha is that this is a tea fermented with SCOBY. If you use a concentrate or pasteurize, you should admit it. In fact, even It’s heat sterilized Kombucha, and it’s better than real sugary soda.”
Some companies use methods such as filtering yeast, pasteurizing, and distilling out part of the alcohol to ensure that the Kombucha has an alcohol content of less than 0.5% and the stability of the quality during the shelf life. Kombucha is naturally produced. It is the advantage of some companies represented by Health-Ade. Their products are fermented in the most natural way without any other operations.
The regulation that the alcohol content of kombucha must be below the 0.5% threshold is the focus of industry controversy. Although Health-Ade has been repeatedly reported for the excessive alcohol and sugar content of the product, Trout insisted, “We will work hard to control the alcohol concentration below 0.5%. But all fermented foods made with yeast will produce alcohol, and their alcohol content It is unreasonable to be classified as an alcoholic beverage while it is very low.”
As a member of the Kombucha International Brewing Association (KBI, a non-profit trade industry association), Trout hopes that the threshold for Kombucha to be classified as an alcoholic beverage in the relevant regulations will be raised from 0.5% to 1.25%. She believes that it must be clearly marked Alcohol content. Trout said “I believe the rules will change.”
Although in the kombucha industry, the label of “bubble probiotic tea” on the packaging is currently under legal review, whether the label of “probiotic” is reasonable, although clinical trials have not yet been conducted, but at least Containing 6-8 kinds of known probiotics, Health-Ade said that the product has been DNA sequenced, and the results show that there are enough probiotics that are beneficial to human health. The current data are sufficient to use the term “probiotics” on packaging.
According to SPINS data, retail sales of chilled kombucha and other fermented beverages in the United States increased by 37.4% in 2017. The Kombucha market continues to maintain double-digit growth. Brands such as Health-Ade are struggling to develop amidst industry disputes and difficulties. Can they always adhere to the unique characteristics of their brands in the fierce competition and give full play to their own advantages? Maybe they will dominate the market and create new markets in the future. The key to order.