The new beverage on the block is making quite a name for itself and becoming more established in bars and retail outlets by the day.
If you’re unfamiliar with the name, kombucha is a tea-based drink, mixed with sugar and fermented using a Scoby, a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. It’s this that transforms the tea into the tangy, fizzy drink whose popularity is steadily rising.
Still relatively new in UK, kombucha is beginning to gain interest. Its biggest market is the US where it’s been established for almost 10 years and is readily available. According to Adroit Market Research the global kombucha market value topped $1.24 billion in 2018 and is likely to significantly increase by 2025. Global consumption for kombucha was estimated to be 82,960.9 kilo litres in 2016 whereas consumption in the UK in the same year was 2,930.9 kilo liters, around 3.5 %, and projected to reach 27,803.9 kilo liters by 2025. (Estimated by Grand View Research, Inc.)
Founded in 2016, near Winchester in Hampshire, Balanced Nature is dedicated to ethically sourced organic and vegan products and the pursuit of the perfect taste. Owned and run by Peter and Julia, this sophisticated kombucha micro-brewery produces the traditional elixir in its purest form.
“At Balanced Nature, we are passionate about creating great food, making sure that we use only the best organic and raw ingredients provided by Mother Nature,” states Peter. “Kombucha is a natural and refreshing alternative to excessively sweetened drinks and also promotes a healthy lifestyle with its probiotic properties.”
Peter and Julia started with six flavours after experimenting with many different combinations, eventually going with their personal favourites - Hemp, Linden, Jasmine, Lemongrass, Pu-erh and Sencha. Balanced Nature is the only kombucha brand in the UK who use botanical flavours instead of infusing with fruits for flavouring. Everything is natural, nothing added.
The young couple own the brewery, although it was a tough and risky decision to make, they decided from the beginning not to contract out but to make everything on site, giving them total control over the process.
Kombucha hits the market at what seems like the perfect time; fitting into the current trend for healthy drink alternatives and the downturn in alcohol consumption, with consumers looking for functional beverages that have a high probiotic content.
Balanced Nature produce about 3-4 kilo liters of kombucha per month and are now scaling up ready to produce 20-30 kilo liters per month as of next season. They also gained SALSA Accreditation which gives them approved supplier status to be able to sell into supermarkets and other key outlets.
The brand had an overhaul earlier this year when it changed its beverage name to Mighty Brew to better fit into the alcohol-free drinks market, as opposed to only the health and wellness category.
“With our first set of labels we chose digital label printing as it’s great for smaller quantities. label.co.uk were very competitive and had a good reputation,” explains Peter. The couple were keen to have a label that represented the brand and originally opted for a natural, artisan paper stock rather than a standard smooth paper.
“We found our initial labels were taking in too much water during processing which affected their suitability for refrigeration. label.co.uk handled this very professionally and we found a solution that still represented our brand values.
This gave us the reassurance to use label.co.uk a second time for our rebrand and with the new designs they have successfully used metallic film for a foil effect on polypropylene, which we are really pleased with. The labels are fully waterproof and transport well.”
Digital label printing is perfect for upcoming brands as it allows for multiple variations to be printed all at the same time. As part of their cost-effective online service, label.co.uk provide initial proofs to ensure the design works as anticipated, before committing to a full print run.