How GT’s Kombucha Owned the No. 1 Kombucha Spot in the U.K. in Three Months

GT’s Kombucha had already earned the crown as the top kombucha on the planet.  An Inc. story from 2015 had GT’s controlling 60% of the kombucha market, which GT Dave created himself more than two decades ago.

Still, it was shocking to see how quickly GT’s became kings of kombucha in the U.K. this fall.

“It’s not normal for a brand to come in and take over like that,” says Grovara President and Co-founder Abu Kamara, who worked closely with GT’s and retailers on making sure shoppers in the London stores first carrying GT’s Kombucha knew it was there.

“It was a surprise. People see it, pick it up and taste (GT’s), they can tell it’s real, authentic kombucha. Apart from being No. 1 in the world, it’s simply the best-tasting.”

Planet Organic held exclusive rights for GT’s debut in London, and promptly sold out of 204 cases in two weeks this past September. Then it was off to Whole Foods, where GT’s continued its torrid pace. Despite GT’s stellar reputation, Kamara says it’s never a guarantee for a global brand to launch well in a new country where there’s little to no familiarity with the product. That’s why Grovara worked with GT’s on making in-store displays, including prominent window merchandising (Whole Foods window pictured above).

“We did a heckuva job marketing in the two retail stores we launched first, which led to all the specialty stores,” says Kamara. “We had enough in-store marketing, a strong branding presence, with literature in the stores that communicated directly to what the customer was looking for.”

Currently in the London stores that sell it, 4 out of 5 kombucha products purchased are GT’s. As London more or less defines the broader U.K. retail market, GT’s now has significant coverage in natural and specialty store channels there.

“It’s about to spread to the rest of the country,” Kamara says.

GT’s, meanwhile, continues to innovate. It’s Aqua Kefir product was just named one of the Best New Products by beverage industry news leader BevNet.