Starbucks To Start Selling Own Line of Kombucha Tea

It was probably only going to be a matter of time before the coffee and beverage giant got in on the trend.  According to CNN Money, Starbucks is offering six flavors of kombucha under its Evolution juice brand and said the drinks have started shipping to grocers and natural retailers in select cities.

Why Kombucha?

The cold-pressed drink is all the rage right now because of its probiotic benefits and zingy taste. Sales of the fermented tea totaled $1.2 billion last year, skyrocketing nearly 40%. Starbucks claims that "consumer interest" also soared the same amount in 2017. The chain said it doesn't have immediate plans to sell it in its own stores just yet, and is only going to be available in grocery stores to start.

A Change for Better Health

New Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson has said that it appears recent trends have showed that customers are starting to sour on the chain's sugar laden drinks like the Frappucino.  He would like for the company to start selling more health oriented drinks.  By comparison, Evolution's kombucha is low in calories and has 3 to 7 grams of sugar depending on the flavor.  

"We know our consumers are looking for beverages with functional benefits, and Evolution Fresh Organic Kombucha is just what they are asking for— a delicious and refreshing pick-me-up that also supports digestive wellness," Ryan Ziegelmann, president of Starbucks' Evolution Fresh brand mentioned in a statement.

Citizens in  New York City, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Seattle will get first dibs on the beverage before its availability expands to more cities this fall. Some flavors include ginger lemon honeycrisp, pink grapefruit, and mango pineapple and will sell for $3.99 for a 15.2 ounce bottle.