Local Kombucha Company’s Snowball Effect

Award-winning Kiwi drinks company, Batchwell, has launched a public capital offer of up to NZ$1m through online investment platform, Snowball Effect, to fund its bold growth plans for their non-alcoholic and new alcoholic kombucha line, Blume.

The premium, gut health beverage brand was founded in Auckland in 2016 and is the brainchild of four Kiwi friends – husband and wife duo Richard Old and Catriona Toop, and twin brothers Tom and Zak Darby.

The Batchwell journey started in the United States when the four lived in Los Angeles together and discovered California kombucha. They loved the hand-crafted, batch-brewed beverage so much that it inspired them to produce their own range once they returned to New Zealand shores.

Since then, Batchwell has disrupted the domestic kombucha scene by using organic ingredients and fresh-pressed juice, combined with a hand-brew method – a key differentiation from the local market. The leader in the ‘better for you’ category, Batchwell are making their mark on the gut health industry by offering premium booch which is packed full of flavour and better for your health.

The company’s growing success is evident after enjoying rapid revenue growth to NZ$630,000 since its inception, followed by an established and loyal customer base, and being voted New Zealand’s best tasting kombucha in 2019.

With the global beverage market size predicted to reach US$204.1bn in 2024 and the global kombucha market already reaching a growth of US$1.84bn in 2019, Batchwell is committed to leveraging this trend and increasing its market reach even further by fully expanding into the gut health space.

Batchwell’s Head of Operations and Co-Founder, Richard Old, noted that Kiwi consumers have a thirst for something healthier and are driving the increased demand for organic, premium quality beverages.

“Now more than ever before, Kiwis are opting for healthier alternatives in the beverage industry. This has fuelled the shift towards functional fermented products, like kombucha, which are much better for you, than the artificially flavoured products already available in the market. Because of this, we’ve seen kombucha drive growth in the non-alcoholic space, which has seen an overall boom with total annual supermarket kombucha sales amounting to NZ$30.7m in FY21,” he said.

“The global ready-to-drink (RTD) market is also enjoying similar growth, with this category forecast to continue growing at 4.5 percent through to 2025. Beverages that fit into consumers’ health-focused lifestyles now play a significant role in growing the RTD segment. We’ve seen this as an exciting opportunity to diversify our portfolio, stay relevant and see ongoing business success. With the launch of our new alcoholic kombucha brand, Blume, we can provide Kiwis with a tasty alternative for their Friday night drinks which is better for their gut and doesn’t compromise on flavour.”

Batchwell is seeking to use the funds to expand the reach of its existing portfolio across the New Zealand hospitality and traditional liquor channels, as well as investment in its local production capability and efficiency while reducing the cost of goods. Their long-term growth strategy will also come from the launch of several new products, including Blume, which is expected to increase Batchwell’s revenue growth to 325 percent in 2022.

The business is forecast to make NZ$4.26m revenue in FY23, achieving positive EBITDA in FY22.

“We’ve all noticed the huge health and wellbeing trend that’s been happening; where consumers are now demanding innovative and healthier alternatives to fit in with their changing lifestyles and drinking habits. This creates a promising opportunity for key players like Batchwell, within the better-for-you beverage market, to grow their business,” commented Snowball Effect’s co-founder and CEO, Simeon Burnett.

“We’re excited about the prospect of welcoming new shareholders into the Batchwell team – to join us at an exciting time of our growth journey as we continue to disrupt the beverage market with our uncompromising promise to make premium-quality, organic booch,” concluded Old.