Two mums from Auckland’s western suburbs have their sights set on New Zealand’s $2 billion liquor retail market.
Liv McGregor and Rene Schliebs have brewed and recently launched Happy Hour Hard Kombucha, an alcoholic version of traditional kombucha brewed using a double fermentation process.
With four years’ experience brewing their non-alcoholic kombucha under the Mama’s Brew Shop brand, McGregor and Schliebs are confident have the product, skills, technology, and distribution channels to take on the alcohol category.
The growth of the Hard Kombucha market overseas, led by the US, suggests that this is a trend that is here to stay.
The global Hard Kombucha market was worth US$144 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow by 42% over the next five years.
McGregor says the shift towards conscious consumerism has led their product development.
“People are becoming much more aware about what they are putting in their bodies and how their purchases affect themselves and the world around them,” she says.
“These consumers are looking closely at product ingredients – carefully considering their provenance as well as their relationship to the environment.
“We wanted to create an interesting, complex, more conscious alternative for those consumers, and for ourselves.”
Unlike typical RTDs which use a spirit base, the alcohol in Happy Hour Hard Kombucha naturally occurs during the double fermentation process, meaning it can be sold in supermarkets.
Current flavour combinations include Lemongrass and Ginger, and Lavender and Hibiscus and they are both 4.5% ABV.
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