Humm Kombucha is gearing up for a big year as the Oregon-based company prepares to move into a new manufacturing facility that will give it the ability to dramatically increase production of its fast-growing kombucha line.
In an interview with BevNET, Humm’s Chief Strategy Officer Eric Plantenberg said the company’s current 3,000 square foot space allows it to produce about 250,000 14 oz. bottles per month. Humm’s new 40,000 square foot facility will be capable of producing 1.5 million bottles per month at launch and eventually enable the company to double that output.
Much of the funding for the new facility came from more than $3 million in equity and debt financing raised from 24 investors, including board members, friends, family and local Oregon businesses, according to Humm co-founder and CEO Jamie Danek. The company is still seeking another $965,000, according to a Dec. 20 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Plantenberg said that Humm is seeking to convert all of the recent investment into equity early next year.
The recently announced funding was the second round for Humm in 2016. Earlier this year, Humm reported raising $1 million from 6 investors.
“2017 is our year to grow nationally, so we [needed] more money to fund some larger initiatives,” said Danek.
Although much of the company’s current capital is going into the new facility, Platenberg said that Humm needs more for operational expenses; the company is planning to expand its operating staff and will be hiring 20 to 25 new employees next year.
The transition to the new facility comes as Humm is seeing growth in its retail presence. The company signed a deal with Target in September to sell four of its varieties in nearly 1,600 locations. Danek praised Target as an ideal partner to meet Humm’s national growth goals as the chain store works closely with the brands it distributes to help small companies succeed in-store.
Humm is also currently sold in select Kroger and Safeway stores, and will continue to expand distribution nationally in 2017, Danek said.
Plantenberg noted that many more retailers are reaching out on a regular basis to stock the brand as consumers continue to seek out functional beverages like kombucha.
“People are clearly interested in putting things that make them feel good into their body,” Plantenberg said. “Kombucha does that.”