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The History of Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink made by mixing bacteria and yeast into sweetened black or green tea. While a glassful of bacteria may not exactly sound appetizing, this is where kombucha gets its nutritious punch. "The bacteria and yeast digest the sweetened tea and produce byproducts like acetic acid (as well as other healthful acids) in the process," says Willow Jarosh, MS, RD and resident nutritionist at Health-Ade.

The bacteria and yeast mixture is called a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY for short) and sits in the tea for a couple of weeks before the kombucha is ready. What's left is a slightly sweet, slightly tart, bubbly tea.

According to Grandview Research, the global kombucha market size was valued at USD 2.64 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.6% from 2022 to 2030. 

 

Consumers have significantly shifted toward proactively tackling their health and wellbeing and have dedicated themselves to improving their overall longevity, leading to higher product acceptance. Kombucha is marketed as a product that eliminates toxins, boosts energy and the immune system, and helps lose weight, driving the frequency of its consumption among consumers globally.

Several consumers are still unaware of the potential positive benefits of drinking authentic kombucha on their overall wellbeing and the state of their immune system. However, in the coming years, there is a massive opportunity for kombucha brands to educate consumers about gut health and fermented foods & beverages.

 

Products like kombucha will be increasingly important to customers who are looking for food and drink items that help them stay healthy. Market players are improving their understanding of specific health outcomes provided by regular drinking of kombucha and engaging with customers in the process of new product development and design.

 

Conventional kombucha accounted for a dominant share of 98.4% of the global revenue in 2021. The rise of the conventional product aligns with the growing demand for healthy hydration and consumers' broad adoption of functional beverages. While kombucha has benefited from those accelerating trends, it is also evolving and innovating to propel the segment's growth forward.

 

Consumers seeking hard kombucha in lighter flavours try novel options such as green tea-based kombucha sweetened with honey, mint, mango, and fruit flavours and relatively less alcohol content. These novel offerings are driving the growth of the segment.

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