When something excels or takes off it is often compared with the ascent of a jet plane or launch of a rocket. Yet, jet planes have wings for lift and rockets do not. The density of air and the speed of the plane affect the lift on the wings. By contrast, rockets don’t work by pushing against the air, because they also function in the vacuum of space. Instead, rockets take advantage of momentum, or how much power a moving object has.

When it comes to beverage brands excelling or taking off, the growth of Health-Ade Kombucha can be compared to that of a rocket, taking advantage of the momentum in consumer health and wellness trends.

“Far from a niche category that only thrives in natural foods stores, the kombucha category has penetrated into major channels of commerce, and now Costco and Walmart are the No. 1 retailers where kombucha is sold,” says Charlotte Mostaed, chief marketing officer of Health-Ade, Torrance, Calif. “It’s become a mainstay in the better-for-you beverage category and one out of five American households make it a regular part of their lives.

“Further, the category continues to grow and evolve, with the largest two brand shareholders driving the majority of the growth — Health-Ade as the disproportionate growth contributor (driving 44% of the growth despite only having 19% share) and smaller, local brands playing supporting roles in their geographies — there’s strength in many segments of the category,” she continues.

Mostaed credits Health-Ade’s growth to the brand’s founders, Daina Trout, Justin Trout and Vanessa Dew, who set out with an entrepreneurial dream of making the best tasting, highest quality kombucha money could buy — setting the stage for the brand to grow to where it is today.

Starting in 2012 at the Brentwood Farmers Market in California, Health-Ade Kombucha has grown to become the “No. 2 brand in the category, available in over 55,000 retail locations, with over $300 million in retail sales, serving over 7.4 million households,” Mostaed says.

Although the brand has grown and evolved during the past 11 years, Mostaed adds that Health-Ade’s commitment to gut healthy beverages — making the best tasting and highest quality products, fostering a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion, and operating to improve sustainability — all remain cornerstones of the Health-Ade way.


Health-Ade single can format
As an option outside of its 16-ounce bottles, Health-Ade recently introduced its single can format.
Image courtesy of Health-Ade Kombucha


Expanding its reach

As consumer interest in gut health and its connection to overall well-being continues to rise, Mostaed points to these interests creating a tailwind, pushing people to explore fermented beverages like kombucha. 

“Google searches for ‘gut health’ have grown 350% versus where they were five years ago, and they continue to climb as both the science and knowledge of the gut’s connection to overall wellness grows,” she says. “There’s also the continued macro-trend of health and wellness and the awareness that nutritional choices impact overall health.

“With recent studies released by the World Health Organization around the dangers of artificial and non-nutritive sweeteners, people are also realizing that it’s not just the caloric count that matters, it’s also about the quality and integrity of the ingredients,” she continues. “That’s why at Health-Ade, our kombucha has always been organic, non-GMO and made with real-food ingredients.”

Aside from Health-Ade Kombucha’s health attributes, Mostaed notes that the brand differentiates itself from its competitors with its high-quality ingredients, as well as its taste profile.

“At Health-Ade, our kombucha is always organic, made with organic fruit juices and natural cane sugar, brewed with organic black and green tea in our proprietary blend and there’s never any shortcuts,” she says. “Our top flavors are some of the ones we’ve had since the very beginning, as well as some recent up-and-comers that have resonated with our fan base.

“Health-Ade Kombucha’s Pink Lady Apple, Ginger Lemon, Pomegranate, and Passion-Fruit Tangerine are the most beloved, but newcomers to our portfolio like Berry Lemonade, Citrus Immune Boost, Strawberry Glow, and Ginger Pineapple Belly Reset are also showing great results,” she continues.

Beyond Health-Ade’s taste profile, Mostaed points to the company’s mission of mainstreaming kombucha, bringing its bold and bubbly brand to bigger and wider audiences.


Health-Ade partnership with Ryan Seacrest
This May, Health-Ade announced its multi-year partnership with host, producer and media personality Ryan Seacrest.
Photo by Presley Ann/ courtesy of Getty Images


“For the first time this year, we’re embarking on a major partnership with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and our new canned kombucha is available in Dodger Stadium so that people can experience how they can swap their beverage for a delicious, gut-healthy kombucha while enjoying the game,” she says. “We’re also bringing our kombucha to more formats, making it easier for people to swap their soda for kombucha in the places where having a single can or a four-pack of cans is much easier than carrying a 16-ounce glass bottle.”

Furthering its quest to mainstream kombucha, this May, Health-Ade also unveiled its multi-year partnership with host, producer and media personality Ryan Seacrest. 

Seacrest has partnered with the brand to create advertising and omnichannel media content that will reach millions of people who have traditionally been left out of outreach from other functional beverage brands, the company says.

“As someone who loves to always be on the go and in motion, I try to find alternatives that help me stay healthy and keep my body and gut balanced,” Seacrest said in a statement. “I’ve been a longtime fan of Health-Ade and their mission of inspiring people so I decided to partner with them to get the word out on how their kombucha can help people to live their version of their happiest and healthiest lives.”

As Health-Ade continues to grow and gain households nationwide with new insight-driven innovation, Mostaed notes that these strides in marketing also help Health-Ade stand out from the crowd.

“[W]e’re not afraid to push beyond the places where you’d expect kombucha and we’re making sure we go beyond the existing kombucha audience to invite in more and more people,” she says. “We know there are significant trial barriers out there — many are nervous to try kombucha for the first time or are unaware of what it is — and we’re focused on helping people learn, explore, and enjoy it for the first time and the many times thereafter.”

The sky’s the limit

Although Health-Ade Kombucha is sold nationwide at major retailers, as well as select locations in Canada and Mexico, the company has “big” ambitions to grow the brand’s footprint within North America, “making it increasingly accessible to all,” Mostaed says.

“In addition to working to penetrate convenience store and on-premise fast casual accounts, we’re also interested in deepening our assortment where we’re currently on the shelf in the major grocers, mass retailers, and club warehouses where most people find their household groceries,” she explains. “We know consumers seek variety in this category and are highly loyal to their favorite flavors, so it’s important that each of our retailers carry enough of our beloved items to meet the consumers’ needs.”

Meanwhile, 2023 and 2024 are primed to be the biggest and best years yet for Health-Ade, Mostaed explains.

“In addition to continued kombucha growth that has been outpacing the category by two to three times, we will be launching some major marketing campaigns and new innovation,” Mostaed says. “Next year, you’ll see a new marketing campaign for Health-Ade Kombucha that will leverage a full 360 suite of assets continued work with influencers and celebrities, major media marketing across digital / OOH / audio / and video, partnerships with Dodgers, Ryan Seacrest, and more, as well as fun experiential activations that bring the delicious, bubbly goodness of Health-Ade Kombucha to life.

“You’ll also see some slight revamps and new additions to our flavors — so stay tuned,” she continues.