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Kombucha set to go mainstream in 2024 after major growth last year


The probiotic drink, also known as ‘booch’ to its fans, contains live bacteria which is said to maintain good gut health.

Current interest in gut health has seen other probiotic foods such as kefir, kimchi and miso also become popular in the UK in recent years and Tesco now includes kombucha as part of its popular Clubcard Meal Deal.

The move has helped establish kombucha as one of the fastest growing functional drinks in the UK with demand up 65 per cent at Tesco in the last two years.

Tesco drinks buyer Emilia Riant said:

“Although it’s been around for more than 2000 years, kombucha has only recently become popular in the UK as a result of growing interest in probiotics and hydration in general.

“Since lockdown there has been a general uplift in shoppers looking for functional food and drink so Tesco decided to make kombucha available as part of our Clubcard Meal Deal which has helped boost sales.

“And whereas only a few years ago kombucha might have been thought of as a health drink it is now winning over everyday shoppers who are picking up a bottle to go with their lunchtime sandwich.”

A lot of that repositioning is down to Remedy Drinks, an Australian business who are one of the biggest kombucha players in the world.

Remedy began trading in Britain in 2019 and is now the UK’s leading kombucha manufacturer with a 36 per cent share of the market.

The business says it saw “massive potential” to launch in the UK but realised that Kombucha needed to widen its “functional drink” image if it was to rapidly grow over here.

The company realised the potential for kombucha to be thought of a chilled juice drink and brought out a series of exciting flavours including Raspberry/Lemonade; Ginger/Lemon; Wild Berry; and Mango/Passionfruit to widen its appeal.

And it has certainly worked with recent data from AC Nielsen revealing that the UK consumed 4.4 million litres of kombucha in the year to Oct 2023 – an increase of more than 800,000 litres to the previous 12 months.

Remedy Drinks Commercial Director Ian Hadley said:

“The really important part of our mission to establish Kombucha here in the UK has been to transform its image from purely being a drink aimed at the health market to an everyday thirst quencher that has zero sugar, has less than five calories per can and tastes great. 

“We’ve done that by launching different funky flavours and Tesco has helped widen that appeal by having including our Wild Berry and Raspberry Lemonade flavours as part of its Clubcard Meal Deal.”

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