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News Roundup for June 19, 2018

Been a while since we have been on the daily beat, but here goes with a quick update:
I never remember the difference between horizontal and vertical integration, but Happy Kombucha, based in the U.K. obviously does. This company understands that the market is flooded with kombucha brewers, so they are making its mark as a supplier of all things fermented. This means that Happy will be providing supplies and equipment to home brewers and fermenters, in addition to supplying commercial brewers. From the tools to make fermented vegetables to kefir, if it is related to this healthy brand of eating, they have it.

A spokesperson for Happy Kombucha told Digital Journal they are now offering their wares at sale prices to stimulate interest in this popular trend: “Here at happy Kombucha we love to hold sales where possible, and this sale has definitely been incredibly popular. The fermenters available on our website are all incredibly high quality allowing for people to make their very own perfect fermented foods and are long lasting too. Anyone requiring more information or interested in purchasing fermenting equipment and the lowest possible prices should visit our website today.”

Happy Kombucha also sells the popular UK kombucha brand Love Kombucha. A five-pack of mixed flavors go for 12.25 GBP ($16.14).


I have no intention of ever moving to Buffalo, but it sure is tempting when a developer called The Barrell Factory—a new loft community in the city’s Old First ward–is touting the eateries and bars in the new development and one of the pillars happens to be Snowy Owl Kombucha.

Snowy Owl won “best tasting station” in 2017 Best of WNY competition. (That’s Western New York, FYI). Current flavors include Tart Cherry Coconut and Strawberry Lemonade.


The U.S. is not alone in its inability to develop proper uniform regulations for acceptable alcohol levels in kombucha. The issue is not setting guidelines, but more the inability for effective enforcement and monitoring. One brewer in Australia (who goes to great lengths to keep his alcohol levels low) maintains the government needs to do random checks on kombucha for sale in retail.
Jeff Low, a brewer in New South Wales told ABC News in Australia that Food Standards Australia and New Zealand need to be more proactive in its monitoring. “[They need] testing for alcohol, testing for probiotic, making sure it’s still alive, that it is a living product and it’s not pasteurized.”

Here are a few Tweets worth a second look:

Invoking the heavens:

From a London brewer sampling its wares at Taste of London

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GT’s Kombucha Flashes Its Customer Service

Whether it is a question about a food processor or a probiotic beverage, it’s heartening to know that a company’s customer service is alive and well. And, more than that, listening to its customers.
In the case of GT’s Kombucha, the California company not only is listening, it is responding to issues and questions related to its beverage. For a national brand that is often in the spotlight (sometimes in less than a positive way), a quick answer to a simple question makes it close to a case study in the lost art of customer interaction.

As someone who has a sensitivity to kiwi, I was disturbed (well, at least put off) by reading that GT’s has kiwi juice listed in its ingredients on the label of many of its kombuchas. So, I asked why.
I asked:

Can I ask you the reason/logic for adding kiwi juice to your kombucha? It seems to be a recent ingredient.

I ask since I am allergic to kiwi and wonder how many others are.

And, less than one day later, the company responded:

Thank you for reaching out to us with your concern.

As you probably are aware, Kombucha is a living fermented tea that requires a carbohydrate source to nourish the cultivation of its probiotics. The carbohydrate can come in the form of cane sugar, honey, agave, fruit juice etc. We use kiwi fruit juice for our Enlightened Kombucha and have been for a long-time. We use kiwi juice as nutrient source for the initial fermentation of the Kombucha culture because it is a premium ingredient and mixes well with our Enlightened formula. It is consumed by the active cultures ‎during the culturing period and virtually all consumed. We have researched that those with kiwi allergies should not have any reaction. Therefore individuals with sensitivities to kiwi should not experience any adverse reactions.

If you’re still concerned, please know that we offer our Classic Line of Kombucha that has organic sugar as the fermented ingredient.
We hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if we can further assist!

Peace & Blessings,
Darryl

Some would say that such questions can be handled on a company’s Q&A Page, but I liked the personal touch. Will I go back to drinking GT’s? Well, at two for $5 at the local Sprouts, the answer is obvious.