Industry Trends: HARD KOMBUCHA
Whether you’ve jumped on the kombucha wagon or not within the past several years, there’s no denying that this fermented tea beverage full of probiotics and other health benefits has prominently made its way into grocery outlets, convenience stores, coffee and smoothie shops, and even homemade batches.
But more recently, the kombucha trend has started making its way into…tap rooms?
That’s right – tap rooms, breweries and bars are now commonly carrying the newest trend of alcoholic beverage: hard kombucha.
While regular kombucha contains very small traces of alcohol, hard kombucha undergoes an extra fermentation process that increases its natural ABV from 0.5% to anywhere from 4-8%.
Why is it all the rage?
Well, other than it being absolutely delicious and refreshing with its natural flavors and slightly sour tang (almost indistinguishable from that of a regular kombucha – perfect for those who don’t particularly like the taste of alcohol!), many consider it to be a more healthy alternative to other alcoholic beverages.
Not only are they gluten-free, but most hard kombucha brands are lower-calorie, lower-carb and lower-sugar than beer and cider. Additionally, many are USDA organic-certified!
Is it actually healthy for you?
There is no definite conclusion that hard kombucha still retains the same level of health benefits that regular kombucha claims to have, given its nature as an alcoholic beverage. While some lab testings confirm significant amounts of bacteria and yeast, gluconic acid and acetic acid that are comparable with what you would find with average kombucha tea, others speculate that the amount of probiotics within normal kombucha would not survive in the alcoholic-rich environment found in hard kombucha.
So even though hard kombucha brands can’t confidently claim actual health benefits, it is no doubt that creators and consumers alike find it healthier with less negative side effects than beer and cider counterparts of similar ABV percentages.
Because hard kombucha is naturally free of gluten and inherently low in carbs and sugars, it can leave you feeling less bloated and heavy. And chances are, you won’t wake up the next day feeling groggy. Regardless, it is still suggested that you drink with caution, especially if you’re sipping on those with higher alcohol content.
Ultimately, for kombucha lovers, the best part of hard kombucha is that it doesn’t compromise on its distinct taste. In fact, hard kombucha brands are continuing to release various unique flavor combinations that maintain the integrity of acidity from the normal fermented tea beverage – incorporating flavors such as cucumber mojito; berry hibiscus; watermelon, mint and cherry; and blueberry basil.
An emerging industry…
Within the past couple of years, many up-and-coming hard kombucha brands have emerged within the rising industry, catering to its growing, health-conscious fan base.
Other already-existing companies have extended their product families to include a hard kombucha product or hard kombucha product line. For instance, New Holland Brewing has a single, seasonal offering of its Lemon Ginger Kombucha IPA, which combines the flavors of an IPA with kombucha. Wild Tonic, originally a regular kombucha brand, created two additional hard kombucha lines: one with 5.6% ABV and one with 7.6% ABV.
As this niche product is being introduced to consumers and finding its way into more and more tap rooms and grocery stores, companies are fighting to establish brand dominance straight out the gate in hopes to secure a strong foothold in the developing industry.
Promotional events, such as in-store samplings, have proven to be an effective method for creating brand awareness and direct sales amongst shoppers.
OUR HARD KOMBUCHA RECOMMENDATIONS…
KYLA HARD KOMBUCHA | 11 FL OZ, 4.5% ABV, 100 Calories, 2G or less sugar/carbs
KOMBREWCHA | 12 FL OZ, 4.4% ABV, 120 calories, 7g sugar, certified organic
BOOCH CRAFT | 22 FL OZ, 7% ABV, <150-170 calories, <5.5-11g sugar
FLYING EMBERS | 16 FL OZ, 4.5% ABV, 85 calories, 2.5g carbs 0g sugar, certified organic
WILD TONIC | 16 FL OZ, 5.6% ABV, <200 calories, 10g sugar | 25.3 FL OZ, 7.6% ABV
If you’re interested in using field marketing to raise awareness about your brand, contact us today to see how Mirus Promotions can best support you!
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