Kombucha is busting out of health shops and into the world’s supermarkets and e-commerce platforms. Leading the charge is Victoria’s Remedy Drinks, Australia’s leading kombucha brand.
Remedy’s organic, sugar-free kombucha is winning fans around the world. The company’s kombucha is available in 20 countries and counting. The company has built a state-of-the-art fermentary in Melbourne’s Dandenong South to support its growing international business.
‘Austrade has been a fantastic support to Remedy,’ says Anthony Hodgson, Remedy’s Strategic Sales Director International Markets. ‘We view them as an extension to our business. They are opening new doors to potential customers in target markets.’
Sarah and Emmet Condon founded Remedy from their kitchen counter in 2012. They wanted to share the health benefits of kombucha, a fermented tea, with Australia. Remedy makes kombucha the traditional way in small batches, long-age brewed for 30 days.
Its fermentary is filled with hundreds of pots fermenting sweet tea, wild bacteria and yeasts. The result is a drink with sweet and sour flavours, that’s jam-packed with antioxidants, live cultures and healthy organic acids. Remedy’s kombucha is organic; sugar-free; gluten-free; vegan-friendly; and Kosher and Halal-certified.
Remedy was available in 8,000 outlets 5 years after its launch, then quickly grew to 20,000 by 2019. It is the No. 1 kombucha brand in Australia. Over the past 2 years, Remedy has expanded its better-for-you product range to include Remedy Sodaly (a 100% natural, prebiotic soft drink), Remedy KICK, a healthy energy drink, Remedy wellness shots and Remedy Switchel ACV. Remedy now enjoys 44% of the better-for-you drinks market in Australia and New Zealand.
Remedy’s 18,268-square metre fermentary is one of the largest such facilities in the world. The facility has a 5 Star Green Star certification from the Green Building Council of Australia.
‘We’re leading the way in making the best-tasting, healthiest drinks going around,’ says Hodgson. ‘Our fermentary will allow us to deliver on the significant increases in demand forecast for the coming years as more consumers look to reduce their sugar intake and seek out healthier options.’
Remedy started exporting in 2017, starting with New Zealand. The UK was next in 2018. Canada, Singapore and the US followed in 2019.
Remedy’s success in these countries was rapid. Remedy is now the No. 1 kombucha brand in the UK, New Zealand and Singapore. It is growing market share in Canada and the US.
In 2020, the company entered Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam. It launched its kombucha in China, Indonesia and the Middle East in 2023. Remedy removed all traces of alcohol from its kombucha to accommodate the cultural requirements of the Middle East.
Unlike competitors, Remedy’s kombucha can be stored in or out of the fridge. This is a major competitive advantage. ‘Consumers can find us at the fridge and at secondary locations like supermarket shelves,’ says Hodgson. ‘It’s a great benefit in all our markets. We can reach different consumers because we can be in different locations in the same store. Other kombucha brands can’t do this.’
Remedy began working with Austrade in late 2019. The agency has supported the company’s expansion into Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
‘I attended an Australia Day fair held by Austrade in the Philippines,’ says Hodgson. ‘That put me in front of 9 buyers for the major supermarket chains. We’re in most of them now.
‘I’m keen to capitalise on Austrade’s connections to buyers and distributors,’ he says. ‘There’s so many connections they can make, and you can flourish from those connections.’
Most recently in Indonesia, Austrade has been ‘instrumental in assisting and helping us in relation to our market strategy,’ says Hodgson. ‘Austrade helped us understand the BPOM [Badan Pengawas Obat Dan Makanan] process, which is crucial for exporting beverages into Indonesia.’ Its kombucha arrived in Bali in September 2023, and will be available in stores across Jakarta.
Austrade also helped Remedy enter Taiwan, providing the company with the country’s regulatory guidelines for food ingredients. Remedy’s kombucha arrived in Taiwan in October 2023.
Hodgson says working with Austrade gives Remedy extra credibility.
‘The badge of government is important in some markets,’ he says. ‘When Austrade recommends us, it indicates that we are a trustworthy business and brand.
‘I know I can reach out to Austrade when I need answers,’ says Hodgson. ‘Their support helps reduce the risks of entering a new market.’
Remedy is continuing to invest in the kombucha category overseas, with an ambition to become the third largest kombucha brand globally.
‘We want to drive kombucha as a category,’ says Hodgson. ‘Sarah and Emmet founded Remedy to bring healthy, tasty drinks to everyone. And that’s what we’ll continue to do.’