KeVita’s Take on Kombucha

Kombucha_Grapefruit_S_8-25-14KeVita has announced the Sept. 1 debut of a line of kombucha drinks, titled KeVita Master Brew Kombucha, at Safeway stores nationwide and select Whole Foods regions.

Bill Lange, the company’s vice president of marketing, wrote to BevNET that many of the brand’s consumers already cross-purchase between KeVita’s sparkling probiotic drinks and kombucha, or have rejected kombucha because of its polarizing taste profile.

“We feel that a lot of the audience for KeVita Master Brew Kombucha will be very similar to our current audience, but on a different usage occasion,” Lange wrote, “especially given that we are offering some unique flavors in a more balanced way than many kombuchas currently on the market.”

KeVita Master Brew Kombucha, which has 40 calories per bottle, will be available in six flavors: Ginger, Grapefruit, Lavender Melon, Pineapple Peach, Raspberry Lemon and Tart Cherry. Each bottle contains 4 billion colony-forming units of proprietary probiotic cultures and 480 milligrams of organic acids — which are frequently touted as a provider of detoxifying and pH balancing properties, according to Lange.

In June, KeVita announced that it had closed a $6 million raise led by SPK Capital LLC, a Los Angeles-based family office. The raise also featured existing investors KarpReilly and the Ecosystem Integrity Fund. At the time of the raise announcement, KeVita co-founder and CEO Bill Moses said that the company continues to invest in marketing and innovation, and will have new products available later in the year.

In a release announcing the kombucha line, Moses said that the products will attract a new range of health-seeking consumers.

“While kombucha stems from ancient Chinese recipes, this extension marks the next frontier for KeVita,” Moses said in the release. “KeVita Master Brew Kombuchas are for the consumer looking for a more powerful flavor profile, as compared to the light refreshment of our current KeVita Sparkling Probiotic Drinks.”

The launch of KeVita Master Brew Kombucha signals the arrival of yet another growing beverage player with a stake in the fast-rising kombucha category. GT’s Kombucha remains the category leader, but the brand has no shortage of competition. Other widely-distributed kombuchas include Reed’s Culture Club Kombucha, Kombucha Wonder Drink and Health-Ade Kombucha, which is partly funded and advised by First Beverage Group.