CHICAGO — Products in emerging categories, which account for 3% of combined revenue of total refreshment beverages, may become the successful brands of the future, according to New York-based Beverage Marketing Corp.
One of these emerging categories is kombucha, a fermented tea.
Here’s what’s new in the category ...
1. Maker of Flying Embers gets funding
Fermented Sciences, which makes organic hard kombucha under the Flying Embers brand, has raised $25 million in funding. Investors include the Ecosystem Integrity Fund, PowerPlant Ventures, Blueberry Ventures and Monogram Capital Partners.
The funding will be used to help the company accelerate growth, expand its national footprint and meet the demand for its hard kombuchas.
Flying Embers, Ventura, Calif., sells handcrafted, organic hard kombucha with an ABV of 4.5% to 7.5%. Its flavors include Ancient Berry, Grapefruit, Thyme, Lemon Orchard, Pineapple Chili, Ginger and Oak and Black Cherry.
2. Koe Organic Kombucha expands product line
Koe Kombucha, a shelf-stable organic kombucha in a can, has added two flavors to its product line and introduced a new formula. The new flavors, Strawberry Lemonade and Lemon Lime, hit shelves this fall.
The drink’s new formula has 35 calories and 8 grams of sugar per 12-ounce can. Its labels have been updated to reflect this and that the drink is “packed with probiotics.” The drinks, which contain no alcohol, are USDA organic, Non-GMO Project verified, vegan, gluten-free and certified kosher.
Koe Kombucha, Los Angeles, is available at 3,000 U.S. stores, including 7-Eleven, Publix and The Fresh Market.
3. Dr Hops Kombucha Beer expands distribution
Dr Hops Kombucha Beer, an alcohol beverage from the San Francisco Bay Area, has expanded its distribution to the entire state of California. The company also plans to expand across the West Coast and nationwide.
The company's products include IPK, which is like an IPA but made from a kombucha; The Lop, a tart, refreshing pomegranate chai kombucha beer; The Jackalope, with flavors of ginger, lime, mint and probiotic tartness; and Binky, with flavors of basil and lemongrass.
The sustainable, plant-based company sells its drinks in recyclable glass bottles and gives 1% of all revenue to support environmental causes.
4. Molson Coors partners with company that helped expand its kombucha
Molson Coors, Chicago, recently announced it was partnering with L.A. Libations to expand its nonalcohol beverages.
The company specializes in identifying next-generation emerging beverages, with a focus on health-conscious consumers.
L.A. Libations creates new brands and partners with brands to provide retail selling and in-store execution services. It previously worked with Molson Coors to help expand its Clearly Kombucha brand, which Molson Coors purchased in 2018.