What Are Functional Beverages And Why Are They All The Rage?

What Are Functional Beverages And Why Are They All The Rage?

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Functional beverages encompass a range of familiar drinks you can find in your local supermarket that includes dairy-based beverages, probiotic drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, meal replacers, caffeinated beverages and vegetable or fruit juices. 

Functional beverages are different from drinks like soda because they include desirable nutrients and bioactive compounds like antioxidants and vitamins. 

Functional beverages are designed to address different body concerns and improve overall health. Take kombucha as an example. Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage that, when done right, can have great health benefits. The tea is made by adding a symbiotic colony of good bacteria and yeast to sweetened tea. The culture feeds on the sugars during fermentation, which produces alcohol and amino acids. This process helps with gut health and digestion, among other health benefits. 

Functional beverages have been known to improve overall physical health and even decrease the risk of disease progression. Kombucha has been known to help with some of the neurological effects of Alzheimer's disease. 

COCID-19 accelerated an already-growing interest in the wellness industry, including functional beverages. According to Precedence Research, in 2021 the global functional beverage market was valued at $129.21 billion. The industry is projected to be worth $279.4 billion by 2030 with a compound annual growth rate of 8.94% from 2022 to 2030. Digestive health products like kombucha are among the fastest-growing categories in the functional beverage industry. 

However, despite the interest in the functional beverage space, many of the products on the market may not be as healthy as they seem. Nutritionists warn consumers to be wary of brands offering healthy drinks and to always read the labels. The beverage industry is fraught with sugary drinks and artificial ingredients. 

Kombucha Town is a functional beverage company determined to back its health claims. It debuted its first kombucha product in 2011 and since then has expanded its product line to include kombucha, balanced energy drinks, seltzer and a sports drink line. Each product is designed to maximize health benefits and provide customers with functional beverages that actually work. 

What sets Kombucha Town apart is its isolated, highest-quality kombucha culture. The team chooses the healthiest cultures from each batch and between 170,000,000 and 240,000,000 live active cultures to thrive in each serving the company offers. 

Kombucha Town is also dedicated to helping the environment. Standing out from its competitors, Kombucha Town was the first kombucha brewery to package products in a 16-ounce aluminum can. This packaging is recyclable, lightweight and space efficient which helps cut down on distribution waste. The cans are also made in the U.S. The facility is 100% offset by renewable energy through Puget Sound Energy. Kombucha Town also has a partnership with One Tree Planted. When Kombucha Town has held investment raises, One Tree Planted has planted trees corresponding with different raise amounts. 

Could Kombucha Town Be Well-Positioned To Become A Leader In The Functional Beverage Industry?  

Kombucha Town reports flourishing and becoming a pioneering company in the kombucha space with its canned kombucha. Kombucha Town is sold in over 1,200 stores nationally, including Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Safeway/Albertsons and Sprouts. In 2019, the company brought in $1.2 million in revenue. In 2021, the company had over $555,000 in sales. In 2022 Kombucha Town has sold over $850,000 they are on track to surpass their pre covid numbers in 2023 and do it profitably.

Kombucha Town is holding a crowdfunding raise on Republic to help with its growth. Founder Chris McCoy is hopeful that Kombucha Town will continue to grow into even more of a leader in the functional beverage space. Having forecasted a return to pre-COVID sales in 2022, the company expects to keep growing from there. 

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Featured photo by PLANT on Unsplash

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