New ideas have been bubbling alongside the fermented tea at Bay area kombucha brand Clearly Kombucha. At next week’s Natural Products Expo West trade show in Anaheim, Calif., the San Francisco-based company will unveil C-Botanicals, a first-to-market line of fermented, probiotic botanical beverages.
“Botanicals have been around forever but no one has thought to ferment with them,” said Clearly Kombucha co-founder and CEO Ali Zarrow in a call with BevNET. “We wanted to take our love for fermentation and create something new for consumers.”
Botanical ingredients, like herbs, roots, flowers and more and other plants have long been valued for their potential functional benefits, both medicinally and in foods.
The line extension is launching in five flavors – Ginger Root, Holy Basil, Lemongrass, Strawberry Milk Thistle and Turmeric Cardamom – offering a range of functionalities specific to each SKU, from the “regenerative boost” of Milk Thistle to the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric. The functionalities of all five flavors are further bolstered with the addition of probiotics.
As for the target audience for C-Botanicals, Zarrow said the new line offers innovation to the company’s existing consumer base but will also bring altogether new users to the brand.
“A large segment will be similar consumers to Clearly Kombucha but they’ll use this product differently,” Zarrow added. “Whereas kombucha can be seen as a fun and healthy alternative to soda, this is a line that’s been crafted with purpose and intention to drink because you want the specific functionalities of the particular SKU you choose.”
Zarrow likened the consumer education process on C-Botanicals to the early days of communicating the benefits of kombucha, but said that unlike with her flagship brand the company won’t have to worry about competition just yet.
“[With Clearly Kombucha] we have to explain how we’re different from all these other brands on the market but now being first-to-market we can concentrate on explaining the benefits of a fermented botanical drink.”
Clearly Kombucha has secured preliminary distribution for C-Botanicals at Natural Grocers and Sprouts Farmers Markets, who have authorized authorized placement for the Ginger Root, Strawberry Milk Thistle and Turmeric Cardamom flavors. The beverages will retail for $3.99 per bottle.