When people attending Melbourne’s Food and Wine Festival along the Yarra River were presented with the Good Earth Kombucha range, their first reaction was, ‘what’s that?’
After sampling the product and learning what it is, their second reaction was, ‘wow, what a refreshing beverage.’
These new Kombucha converts are not alone. There’s strong momentum behind the Good Earth Kombucha range, which has entered the Australian café market as a healthy replacement for sugary soft drinks.
In its simplest form, kombucha is a fermented tea product made from tea, sugar, water and SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast).
The product is brewed or fermented over seven to 31 days. There is very little sugar left in the final drink. The end product is lightly carbonated for a fizzy taste.
“Good Earth Kombucha will be a new taste experience for café goers,” says Sarah Goff, Tata Global Beverages’ National Business Development Manager Ready-to-Drink.
Kombucha has been around for hundreds of years in Chinese culture, known for sourcing good quality tea. But just like alternative coffee brew methods, kombucha is seeing a revival.
Good Earth Kombucha has developed four distinctive taste profiles: tropical zing with Passionfruit and Lime, refreshingly herbaceous with Lemongrass and Ginger, sweet and fruity with Pomegranate and Acai, and sharp and tart with the Original.
Good Earth Kombucha is a great way café owners can offer their customer a range of healthy options. Sarah says although kombucha can be a bit tart, and is not to everyone’s liking, there’s only one way to find out.
“We’ve seen many people enjoy making their own Kombucha at home in their kitchens and garages, and we encourage that,” Sarah says. “Good Earth Kombucha is just another great way cafés can serve a caffeine-alternative to customers, and this time with some added sparkle or zing on the palate thanks to the lightly sparkling fermented tea.”
The Good Earth Kombucha range can be stored at ambient temperatures and just chilled before drinking, freeing up café cold rooms.
More than 400 venues across the country already stock Good Earth Kombucha, including independent stores and at least 75 Victorian cafés such as Zest Cafe in Emerald, Fresh is Good in Melbourne, and Poke Man in Melbourne’s CBD.
“Some enjoy it for its refreshing taste, others for the low sugar, guilt free option,” Sarah says.
The Good Earth Kombucha range is naturally low in sugar with less than 2.5 grams per 100 millilitres in every product and contains less than 44 calories per bottle. It uses organic ingredients including tea, mixed with purified water, raw cane sugar and other all natural ingredients. It is packed with natural flavour, is free from artificial flavours, colours and preservatives, and is made from living cultures. It’s also vegan, vegetarian, gluten and lactose free.
“There’s a large majority of people looking for healthy drink options,” Sarah says. “There’s been a real shift in drink consumption. Last year sugary drink sales were on the decline as more people started quitting sugar, and healthier alternatives such as coconut water, fresh vegetable juices and other drinks became more popular. Kombucha doesn’t compromise on flavour and it uses all natural ingredients. It ticks all the boxes.”
Good Earth Kombucha has been brewing full-flavoured teas with exotic, natural flavours since it was founded in California in 1972.
Sarah says the company was in shock when it first discovered how much sugar was in so-called ‘healthier’ soft drinks.
“When we went and spoke to Melbourne locals we unearthed a real need to educate the café community about the difference in healthy products,” Sarah says.
“We saw their desire for a delicious drink that customers could enjoy guilt-free. Our research kept pointing us towards kombucha.”
Good Earth began experimenting and started brewing and bottling its kombucha in Melbourne, Victoria.
“We gave it to our friends and family to taste and they couldn’t get enough of it – that’s when we knew we were onto a winner,” Sarah says.
To further ensure the flavour profiles were spot-on for Australian consumers, a market test was conducted in local stores.
The overwhelming results highlighted Lemongrass and Ginger, and Passionfruit and Lime as the most popular flavour combinations. The products were released on the market in January 2018.
“We’re excited about making this naturally low in sugar drink accessible to a wider mainstream audience,” Sarah says. “Whether you love kombucha or this is the first you’ve heard of it, go on and give Good Earth Kombucha a try.”
For more information, visit www.goodearth.com.au