Gina Geoghegan is Founder of Wild Fizz Kombucha, a natural sparkling soft drink made from fermented black or green tea. Brewed in the UK, Wild Fizz Kombucha is now available in cans and bottles, targeting both take home and out of home sales. Gina spoke to Wholesale Manager.
How did you come to start this business?
I discovered kombucha on a trip to the U.S a few years ago. I instantly loved the refreshing taste and the clean energy burst it gave me, but had no idea I had discovered a wonder product that would change the course of my life! On this trip, I had been drinking ‘booch all the way from LA to Arizona and realised my painful IBS symptoms had pretty much disappeared. At that point, sat in the desert, Wild Fizz was born, and I made the decision to launch a UK-based kombucha brand.
What is kombucha, and who is it aimed at?
Kombucha is a natural sparkling soft drink, ideal for consumers maintaining better-for-you lifestyles. Made from fermented black or green tea, it is produced by adding a colony of bacteria and yeast – called S.C.O.B.Y., an acronym for “Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast” – to sweet tea and letting it ferment and transform sweet tea into tangy, fizzy kombucha. Kombucha is full of gut friendly live cultures, high in antioxidants and extremely low in sugar.
How big a business is kombucha?
In the UK, kombucha is an emerging category, but in other territories, especially the US, Australasia and Europe, it’s mainstream. The category is expected to grow 25% annually to a global value of $1.8 billion by 2020, which is staggering.
What products are in the Wild Fizz Kombucha portfolio?
Wild Fizz is available in four flavours, each with its own natural healing properties. Lavender, Rosemary and Lemon is mood-enhancing, contains anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties, and can aid sleep and reduce nervous stress. Ginger, Turmeric and Black Pepper contains ingredients that can help lower cholesterol, relieve pain and reduce indigestion, as well as providing a much needed energy boost. Jasmine Pearl Tea is high in antioxidants to keep consumers healthy and strong and finally Blood Orange, Grapefruit and Lime is packed with vitamin C and vitamin A, which both help maintain healthy skin tissue and boost the immune system, while protecting the body from damaging free radicals.
How would you sum up the Wild Fizz Kombucha proposition?
Every bottle and can of Wild Fizz is hand-brewed in our dedicated brewery facility in North London. We’re committed to improving gut health across the UK – that’s what drives us. You’ve won some Great Taste Awards.
Can you tell us about those?
Both our Lavender, Rosemary and Lemon and Ginger, Turmeric and Black are Great Taste Award winning products. These are really prestigious awards with great consumer awareness, so there’s no doubt the accolade has been beneficial to our business.
Why is it important that you’ve put this product in cans?
Getting Wild Fizz into cans is something we wanted to do from the beginning. Most cans are associated with sugary soft drinks and long shelf life products. Our Wild Fizz in cans is unfiltered, unpasteurised and a totally wild ferment. There’s no compromise on quality and we’re able to meet the demand for healthier grab-and-go options.
Talking of cans, how green are you as a business?
In a word, very! We’re committed to operating a truly sustainable business model and we look extremely closely at our production methods, our packaging, and that of the partners we work with to ensure we’re doing everything we can to operate ethically.
What are your marketing plans for this year? Any more products on the way? Watch this space! This year we plan to continue to grow our share of category in grocery retail, while really focusing on the out-of-home market. You’ll be seeing a lot of Wild Fizz, that’s for sure!
How are you helping your wholesale customers grow their business?
For us, it’s all about education. The kombucha category is growing globally, however, in the UK there’s still very little consumer understanding and awareness of the benefits it can deliver. We want to deliver the insight and tools for wholesale partners to pass onto endusers to drive sales. That’s the goal.
Where do you see Wild Fizz Kombucha in five years’ time?
We want to live in a world where more people drink kombucha than Coca Cola – and for Wild Fizz to have played a significant part in that movement.
We’re extremely proud of the fact we’re a UK-brewed kombucha brand, and look forward to seeing the business grow.