Coke acquires MOJO Kombucha
Theu00a0Coca-Colau00a0Company has acquired kombucha maker Organic & Raw Trading Co, which makes the MOJO brand of naturally fermented, live culture, organic kombucha drinks.
Kombucha is the fastest-growing beverage category in Australia. This is the first timeu00a0Coca-Colau00a0has acquired full ownership of a brand in the category. Terms were not disclosed.
u201cIn just over eight years, Organic & Raw has gone from selling MOJO at a local farmersu2019 market to producing one of Australiau2019s leading organic kombucha brands,u201d said Vamsi Mohan, President ofu00a0Coca-Colau00a0Australia.
u201cOur 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.
u201cThis is another important step in our companyu2019s ongoing work to offer beverages for all occasions, which continues our evolution as a total beverage company,u201d Mr Mohan said. u201cAcross Australia, we now have more than 165 products and 25 brands. The addition of MOJO kombucha fits perfectly with the growing popularity of organic, probiotic drinks.u201d
Anthony Crabb, co-founder and CEO of Organic & Raw, perfected his handmade, fermented drink in his home in 2010. Since then, MOJO has grown rapidly, using the highest-quality organic ingredients, including real fruit for great taste.
Two key leaders who have been responsible for driving MOJOu2019s growth, Mr Crabb, and Sales and Marketing Director Andrew Buttery, will remain in their current roles.
u201cWhen we started out, we couldnu2019t have imagined the incredible growth and consumer demand we see today,u201d Mr Crabb said.
u201cAs we continued to innovate, we soon realised that for us to take the business to the next level and provide probiotic beverages to even more people, we needed to find the right strategic partner. We found this partner inu00a0Coca-Cola.u201d
Organic & Rawu2019s biggest selling kombucha is MOJO CRAFTED KOMBUCHA, a low-sugar, naturally-fermented, live-culture, organic drink.
u201cWith this acquisition,u00a0Coca-Colau00a0Australia can take a leading role in helping Theu00a0Coca-Colau00a0Company in the still-emerging, premium-probiotic kombucha category, which is the fastest-growing beverage category in Australia,u201d Mr Mohan said. u201cThis is a strong opportunity for us.u201d
Keeping MOJOu2019s Heart and Soul
MOJOu2019s humble beginnings link to founder Crabbu2019s introduction to the concept of a live-culture drink, which requires a SCOBY-starter (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). This put him on a journey to perfect the MOJO culture, which is at the heart of what makes his brew of kombucha so distinctive.
u201cIt is a hands-on approach, to ensure MOJO has one of the highest-quality, naturally fermented and brewed beverages in Australia,u201d Mr Crabb said. u201cEach bottle that leaves our site is made with Certified Organic ingredients under stringent quality controls and 100% love.u00a0Coca-Colau00a0enables us to expand our reach while keeping our heart and soul.u201d
Mr Mohan credits the convergence of several consumer trends with driving MOJOu2019s rapid growth.
u201cAustralians are increasingly after great-tasting, low sugar drinks that deliver additional functional benefits, such as gut health,u201d he said.
u201cThey also support sustainable packaging options, and MOJO uses clear glass bottles that can be recycled. MOJO will play an important part in helpingu00a0Coca-Colau00a0meet our commitment to reduce sugar by 20% by 2025 and in meeting our sustainability commitments through providing recyclable packages.u201d
MOJO products are currently sold in about 4,000 outlets nationwide. MOJO is available in local health food stores, organic markets, organic cafu00e9 restaurants and supermarkets that include Aldi, Costco, Foodland, IGA and Woolworths.
Both companies hope to learn from each other.
u201cCoca-Cola is a total beverage company with massive intellectual capital,u201d Mr Crabb said. u201cWe can learn a lot about consumer trends and marketing innovation, whileu00a0Coca-Colau00a0can benefit from MOJOu2019s unique understanding of fermentation and what it takes to build great tasting brewed beverages.u201d