Emmet Condon, co-founder of Remedy kombucha, started making kombucha as part of a wider obsession with fermented foods. Becoming increasingly frustrated with the food industry and the number of misleading so-called ‘healthy’ products on shelves, Condon decided to put that energy towards doing good.

“We saw the opportunity to turn our passion into a business that would offer more people the chance to enjoy a real, wholesome drink,” he told Supermarket News. “A healthy, organic, guilt-free alternative to sugary soft drinks and fruit juices.”

Condon identified kombucha as one of the fastest growing markets in the functional beverages category in the US, while in Australia at the time there were only a couple of other small-scale producers selling kombucha commercially. “The commercial kombucha market in the US is about ten years ahead,” he said. “We looked to the US as a guide and insight into the opportunity in the Australian market.”

The functional beverage category is on the rise thanks to two key trends – increasing awareness of gut health, and increasing awareness of the problems associated with a high sugar diet. “At Remedy, we are really proud to craft a kombucha that is naturally free from sugar but also still really tasty. We have an official tick of approval from Sarah Wilson and her team at I Quit Sugar,” explained Condon. “We’ve known and worked with Sarah since our beginnings and her support has been really valuable.”

However, being part of an emerging category isn’t without its challenges. “While the category is growing, we’re coming off a very low base – the category didn’t even exist 10 years ago,” said Condon. “Awareness of kombucha, in general, is still low in New Zealand and Australia. In our experience, trial is key. The more people who try Remedy, the quicker word spreads of its benefits.” Education is also key through the supply chain, as raw kombucha such as Remedy produces needs to be refrigerated at all times to maintain the quality and integrity of the product.

Remedy recently added 250ml cans to its range as an on-the-go option for the petrol and convenience sector. The company is also gearing up to release another kind of fermented, live-cultured drink very soon.