The Coca-Cola Company has entered the kombucha market with the acquisition of Organic & Raw Trading Co, which makes the Mojo brand of naturally fermented, live culture, organic kombucha drinks.
Australia-based Organic & Raw was co-founded by Anthony Crabb in 2010, who perfected his handmade, fermented drink in his home in 2010. Since then the firm has grown rapidly, with increased sales of its Mojo Crafted Kombucha beverage.
Coca-Cola, which is continuing to shift away from soft drinks to drive growth, said that kombucha “is the fastest-growing beverage category in Australia”.
“In just over eight years, Organic & Raw has gone from selling Mojo at a local farmers’ market to producing one of Australia’s leading organic kombucha brands,” said Vamsi Mohan, president of Coca-Cola Australia.
“Our goal is to bring Mojo to more Australians by making it available in more places across the country. Consumers will be able to see the same great Mojo products on more store shelves.”
He added: “This is another important step in our company’s ongoing work to offer beverages for all occasions, which continues our evolution as a total beverage company. Across Australia, we now have more than 165 products and 25 brands. The addition of Mojo kombucha fits perfectly with the growing popularity of organic, probiotic drinks.”
Coca-Cola Australia president Vamsi Mohan and Organic & Raw CEO Anthony Crabb.
Two key leaders who have been responsible for driving Mojo’s growth, Anthony Crabb, and sales and marketing director, Andrew Buttery, will remain in their current roles.
“When we started out, we couldn’t have imagined the incredible growth and consumer demand we see today,” Crabb said.
“As we continued to innovate, we soon realised that for us to take the business to the next level and provide probiotic beverages to even more people, we needed to find the right strategic partner. We found this partner in Coca-Cola.”
Mohan credits the convergence of several consumer trends with driving Mojo’s rapid growth; the brand’s products are sold in about 4,000 stores across Australia.
“Australians are increasingly after great-tasting, low-sugar drinks that deliver additional functional benefits, such as gut health,” he said.
“They also support sustainable packaging options, and Mojo uses clear glass bottles that can be recycled. Mojo will play an important part in helping Coca-Cola meet our commitment to reduce sugar by 20% by 2025 and in meeting our sustainability commitments through providing recyclable packages.”
The deal comes a day after Coke revealed it is “closely watching” the growth of CBD as an ingredient in beverages and weeks after it acquired UK coffee chain Costa for £3.9 billion.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019