Review: Bear’s Fruit Kombucha
Covers Products: Pineapple Mint Kombucha, Strawberry Jalapeño
Bear’s Fruit is a line of certified USDA Organic and Fair Trade kombucha that is produced in Brooklyn, NY.
The brand’s current portfolio includes s three varieties: Blueberry Lavender, Pineapple Mint and Strawberry Jalapeno. The products are packaged in 10 fl oz. glass bottles, which is a bottle format that’s most commonly used in bars and restaurants for products like tonic water.
While we did not have a chance to sample Blueberry Lavender, Pineapple Mint and Strawberry Jalapeno were both quite enjoyable. Bear Fruit is made with whole fruits and this definitely lends them a very fresh and accurate flavor. And given that the word “fruit” is in the name of the brand, it was no surprise that all three formulations emphasize fruit flavors.
However, a statement on Bear Fruit’s label claims that it is “the only kombucha made with 100% organic fruit & herbs - no juice, flavors or other weird stuff.” This seems unsubstantiated, both in terms of factual accuracy and in suggesting that it is actually superior to using something like cold-pressed juice, as used by several other kombucha brands.
As for the two flavors that we did sample, we especially liked the bright notes of pineapple in Pineapple Mint and the mild-but-lingering heat in Strawberry Jalapeno. There’s some fruit sediment at the bottom of each bottle, but the products don’t have pulp and we wouldn’t even describe them as juicy. The base of kombucha is good and seems on par with other products in the space.
On its packaging, Bear’s Fruit has an artisanal look that’s polished and nicely arranged. However, we think they need to make “Kombucha” more prominent as we think it would be easy to mistake this product for a sparkling juice or soda. Tying the word in with the Bear’s Fruit logo seems like a somewhat easy way to improve this.
We do, however, question the bottle size that the brand has chosen. With most kombucha products using 12 or 16 oz. bottles, this seems a bit too small to be competitive. It’s an okay place to start, but we do think that they’ll need to consider a larger format in the future.
In the end, Bear’s Fruits Kombucha feels like a product that is, thanks to its branding, going after a more sophisticated, rather than mainstream, consumer. To that end, it’s a very worthy and high quality offering, even if we question if that leaves the brand with enough space to be scalable in the long term. But adjusting the branding and the positioning seem like the places to start.