New bottle for kombucha brand quadruples company’s production rates
A two-thousand-year-old drink originating in China, kombucha has made a comeback. The beverage, produced by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria, is one of the fastest-growing markets in the functional beverage category. Given the rise of brands in the kombucha space, it can often be a challenge for producers of the fermented tea drink to differentiate their products on shelf.
Holy Kombucha has been brewed in artisan batches in Fort Worth, TX, since 2011. The company uses only organic ingredients when brewing, including several specialty tea blends packed with antioxidants, and organic raw evaporated cane juice. Holy Kombucha beverages—there are 13 in all—are sold in stores in Texas, New Mexico, and Arkansas.
Recently the company approached Berlin Packaging to help them bring a custom bottle to market that would differentiate them on shelf and result in new shelf space in more retailers regionally. “They sought to create something that truly stood out on shelf,” says Glen Scott, Director of Business Development for Berlin. They also wanted a bottle design that was slimmer and taller so it could fit in car cupholders, for on-the-go consumption.
Working with Holy Kombucha, Berlin created a number of different designs based on specific needs. Ultimately the company selected a 16.9-oz glass bottle embossed on the base with the brand’s dove symbol and on the top with the words, “drink well. do better.” The new bottle also features a wider, 38-mm neck that not only makes it easier for customers to drink the beverage, but also faster for Holy Kombucha to fill.
Guided by Berlin, Holy Kombucha invested in new packaging equipment that allowed them to switch from filling by hand from totes to using automated filling equipment, with product supplied by chiller tanks. “The new bottles are also easier to label and handle on the production line,” Scott adds. With these changes, the company has quadrupled its production speeds and has decreased its labor costs.
The new bottle, with new label graphics, was launched at retail in June 2017 and has been well received by its customer base. At presstime, Costco had just added the new packaging to its offerings. Holy Kombucha also plans to expand distribution of its product across the U.S. in 2017.