Fermented beverages are in serious growth mode as consumers look to enhance their digestion and gut health.
U.S. retail sales of kombucha and other fermented beverages surged 37.4% in 2017, according to SPINS, a Chicago-based data and consulting solutions firm. That growth came in part at the expense of shelf-stable coconut water, which saw sales down 7.4% over the same period.
Speaking recently at the fifth annual KombuchaKon conference—yes, there really is such a thing—Bobbi Leahy, SPINS director of sales, said fermented-beverage velocity is particularly strong in the conventional multioutlet and convenience channels, which accounted for 69% of kombucha and other fermented-beverage sales. This compares with a 53% contribution in 2014. The increase in sales and units reflects the overall acceptance of fermented beverages by mainstream consumers, Leahy said.
Within the natural category, the top five brands are GT’s, KeVita, Health Ade, Brew Dr and Live Soda, which all experienced double-digit growth in 2017. Several new players also entered the category, including Suja, Bambucha Kombucha and Shen Zen Tea.
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