Posted: Dec 30, 2013 at 12:00 AM
(Last Updated: Jan 16, 2014 at 2:46 PM)
Ciara’s Kombucha, which comes in 10 varieties, is one of only a few kombucha brands that we’ve encountered that emphasize taste. In this case, the company has go so far as to put “great tasting” on the front of the label. Given that kombucha is a fermented and often vinegary tasting product, that’s certainly a tall order to fill. So how does it taste? For starters, this product, the company's black tea variety, is non-carbonated and tastes noticeably sweeter than most of the kombuchas that we’ve sampled in the past (it has 22g of sugar and 100 calories per 16 oz. bottle). This certainly does make the flavor pleasing to the palate, but we personally prefer the light mouthfeel of effervescent kombucha over this one. Otherwise, the product has a pretty pronounced tea flavor, which again seems to be the result of the lack of bubbles in the liquid. All in all, it’s definitely an enjoyable tasting product, and we appreciate the company's effort in creating something that’s different than the majority of what’s on the market already. On the packaging and positioning front, Ciara's choice of a 16 oz. glass bottle seems like a good one. However, the messaging might lead the unindoctrinated consumer to see this product and think that it’s simply another brand of iced tea. Furthermore, the design feels pretty plain and lacks the visual pop that we always look for in well-designed packages. On the other hand, the simple look of the product definitely helps lend credibility to the fact that it's a small batch product. Overall, this is a nice tasting product and one that could be a nice little regional brand, but if the company wants to take it further, the branding definitely needs help.