Chris Reed, founder, chairman and CEO of the company, told BevNET that its Culture Club Kombucha products have driven much of the growth. He cited the cultural myth of kombucha’s cancer-curing qualities, appealing flavor, low-calorie count and probiotic traits as reasons for its strong performance. The release noted that the company’s kombucha products often exceed individual store sales of all other Reed’s drinks combined.
“There’s just kind of a perfect storm for a natural food consumer,” Reed said.
Reed said that company sold approximately 750,000 bottles of kombucha in 2012, and Reed expects that number to multiply by 10 in 2013.
Reed’s, which is self-funded and has grown 15 to 20 percent over the past three years, according to Reed, is aiming to replicate the success of Culture Club Kombucha for its other product offerings. Reed said that this will be done partly through social media, which is still a somewhat nascent path for the company. He mentioned Jones Soda Co. as another brand that succeeds in marketing its products.
“We’re planning to morph into more of a marketing company with a lot more noise on our products,” Reed said.
Part of that marketing, as Reed mentioned, has already come from rapper/reggae artist Snoop Lion, formerly known as Snoop Dogg, who has repeatedly mentioned Reed’s on his Twitter account of more than 10 million followers. Snoop recently partnered with Reed’s for a campaign that aimed to benefit school-aged children in Jamaica.
The release also said that branded products are growing at 20 percent for the fourth quarter of 2012 and the early part of 2013, and that the company’s private label business grew 23 percent last year. Reed said that he expects this to be just the start of a booming future for the company.
“It doesn’t seem inconceivable for us to accelerate at a tremendous clip because we haven’t done any of the marketing that you do with the brand,” he said. “None of the advertising has started. So we would expect that would put a little oil on the fire.”