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Kombucha tea has seen the fastest growth among any functional beverages in the past few years. The primary reason for the robust growth of the kombucha tea market has been its numerous health benefits combined with a rising demand among health-conscious consumers, and an increasing disposable income. The health benefits of the drink, which ranges from helping in the detoxification of the body and maintaining a healthy metabolism to contributing to the strengthening of the immune system, has earned it the moniker of the ‘tea of immortality’.
Kombucha, which is also often called tea mushroom, is made by fermenting tea and sugar with SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). The resulting drink is somewhat alcoholic and has a slight vinegar-like taste. The functional beverage derives its name from the Japanese language and is said to have originated in China. While traditionally consumed in China and Japan, it became commercially available widely thanks to GT’s Living Food, which was the first company in the US to produce Kombucha for commercial purposes. Even today the company accounts for half the US kombucha market by value. While the initial resurgence of kombucha tea was led by the western markets, in countries which had not historically consumed the drink, however, in the recent years there has been a growing demand in emerging markets like Middle East, Eastern Europe, and South East Asia, among others. Driven by a rise in urbanisation and increasing disposable incomes among consumers, Latin America and Asia Pacific regions are the fastest growing markets for the tea.
Along with retail stores and supermarkets, kombucha is increasingly becoming an option which is widely available in cafes and restaurants in both mature and emerging markets. In August 2018, Starbucks, the coffee chain giant, announced that it will soon start offering six varieties of kombucha under its juice brand, Evolution. While it is not yet being sold in Starbucks stores, the company expects the beverage to be seen as a healthy alternative to its usual sugar drinks like Frappuccino. This step is driven by large sections of consumers seeking healthier alternatives to the sugar-loaded beverages available.
Market Analysis by Types, Flavours, Distribution Channels and Regions:
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GT’s Living Foods, KeVita, Inc., Remedy Kombucha Pty Ltd., Brew Dr. Kombucha, LLC, Carpe Diem, Humm Kombucha, LLC, Kombucha Wonder Drink, Reeds, Inc., Buchi Kombucha, and Equinox Kombucha are the major players in the global kombucha market analyzed by EMR. The report by EMR provides a detailed insight into the market share, capacity and latest developments like plant turnarounds, expansions of capacity, and mergers and acquisitions of these key players.
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