Health-Ade is "really excited to see this growth in the total functional beverage category, and we also see a ton of strength in the kombucha category," Mostaed said. And while prebiotic beverages are having their moment, Health-Ade projects that kombucha will "continue to grow and grow, alongside these other prebiotic sodas," she added, noting "kombucha … is here to stay.”
“We are incredibly excited to see just the massive excitement in gut health that is indicated by the growth in functional beverage, prebiotic sodas, and prebiotic [and] probiotic products in general. It's very clear that the consumer is increasingly understanding the role of their gut health in their overall health.”
Using the can format to expand occasions
Kombucha’s typical glass bottle can be a bit “intimidating for a new user,” creating barriers for some consumers to try kombucha, Mostaed admitted. This is partially why Health-Ade introduced an aluminum can format earlier this month, which is a "lower barrier to entry for those that are interested [in trying] kombucha, [and] it's a lower price point in a much more familiar format," she said.
The new can will be available individually or in four-packs nationwide at Sprouts, Whole Foods Market, and Walmart, and 12-can packs will be available from Health-Ade's website.
Health-Ade’s can format also will help increase household penetration through multi-pack options, Mostaed said. “In other categories like water, big soda, etc., that different packaging formats help grow the category and entrench it into daily life,” she added.
Additionally, Health-Ade can access new distribution channels with the aluminum can, which might not have been possible with the glass bottle, Mostaed noted. For instance, Health-Ade recently signed a multi-year deal with the LA Dodgers to sell its products in the stadium and market the benefits of kombucha, but the baseball stadium didn’t allow glass bottles to be served.
Getting the word out through marketing
Health-Ade also is focusing on ways it can meet the consumers through new occasions and how the brand communicates that in its marketing.
For example, Health-Ade has a 360-marketing plan and a new campaign geared towards millennial consumers “around how they can drink kombucha at a dinner party,” Mostaed said.
“We've been persistently growing [the kombucha category] almost two to three [times] the category rate for several years, so that shows us that there is increasing runway for Health-Ade, and for kombucha, to grab millions and millions more consumers."