Melbourne, Oct 2: Kombucha is the fastest-growing beverage category in Australia – with its functional benefit of gut health.

Kombucha is a fermented, probiotic tea that’s a little acidic, lightly sweetened and a little bubbly – most brews contain only about 0.5% alcohol.

The fermented tea now being hailed as the miracle superdrink, is not however a new drink. People have been making and drinking kombucha for thousands of years throughout Asia, according to Livescience.

Kombucha is believed to have been first brewed when tea plants were first cultivated in ancient China, which then spread to other regions – and came to be known as tea kvass.

From detoxifying to immunity boosting – its purported health benefits range from warding off infections, treating arthritis, fighting cancer and even helping in weight loss.

And it is probiotic – just like yogurt, kombucha is loaded with beneficial bacteria that can ease digestive issues, ward off parasites, and even boost immunity and the mood, according to Health.

In fact, every culture has its set of fermented foods.

India standing out for its ragi porridge and palmyra sap, which is fermented for a healthy drink and lo behold! … when over-fermented becomes toddy or feni for Goans.

Even regular Indian foods such as idlis and lassi too are from fermented products and traditionally known to relieve pain, improve hair growth, aid digestion and restore gut flora.

Maker Organic & Raw Trading Co., that made and traded as MOJO kombucha brand in Australia used naturally fermented, live culture, organic drinks, was selling throughout Australia.

Coca-Cola has now acquired full ownership of this brand – MOJO kombucha.

“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.

The addition of MOJO kombucha to the COCA COLA brand fits perfectly with the growing popularity of organic, probiotic drinks.

Anthony Crabb, co-founder and CEO of Organic & Raw, perfected his handmade, fermented drink in his home in 2010, from naturally fermented tea.

Since then, MOJO has grown rapidly, using the highest-quality organic ingredients, including real fruit for great taste.

Organic & Raw’s biggest selling kombucha is MOJO CRAFTED KOMBUCHA, a low-sugar, naturally-fermented, live-culture, organic drink.

Keeping MOJO’s Heart and Soul

MOJO’s humble beginnings link to to the concept of a live-culture drink, which requires a SCOBY-starter (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast).

“It is a hands-on approach, to ensure MOJO has one of the highest-quality, naturally fermented and brewed beverages in Australia,” Mr Crabb said.

“Each bottle that leaves our site is made with Certified Organic ingredients under stringent quality controls and 100% love. Coca-Cola enables us to expand our reach while keeping our heart and soul.”

Mr Mohan credits the convergence of several consumer trends with driving MOJO’s rapid growth.

“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.”

MOJO products are currently sold in about 4,000 outlets nationwide. MOJO is available in local health food stores, organic markets, organic café restaurants and supermarkets that include Aldi, Costco, Foodland, IGA and Woolworths.

Serra Smith

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