A Statistical Analysis of Kombucha Brands in the USA: 2020 – 2023
In June 2020, we published A Statistical Analysis of Kombucha Brands in the USA, when there were 1,626 brands in the Booch News Worldwide Directory. Now, three-and-a-half years later, there are an additional 1,100 worldwide. During that time, there was the COVID pandemic, supply shortages, and inflation. There were 534 brands in the U.S. in 2020, and an additional 120 have launched, giving a nationwide total of 654.
A comparison of 2020 with today reveals that in the top 33 states, there are an additional 107 brands, a 22% increase.
The increase in commercial brands is pretty evenly spread across the States. Only Delaware and Mississippi still lack any kombucha companies. Surprisingly, Oregon — a hotbed of kombucha — only added one new brand. Is that a sign of ‘kombucha saturation’? Indiana and New Jersey saw a decline. Tennessee saw a big jump.
As in 2020, an overlay of population data shows California has fewer breweries per head than 13 other states despite having the most breweries in the U.S.
Red State / Blue State
While pollsters might not take this seriously, there’s something weird about this list. It seems that kombucha consumption per head sometimes aligns with political affiliation, other times not.
To explain for those not familiar with American politics. The terms “red state” and “blue state” refer to U.S. states whose voters vote predominantly for one party — the Republican Party in red states and the Democratic Party in blue states — in presidential and other statewide elections. By contrast, states where the vote fluctuates between the Democratic and Republican candidates are known as “swing states” or “purple states”.
I was struck by the contrast between Vermont, Bernie Sanders home state, second in number of kombucha companies per head, and the neighboring “Live Free or Die” state of New Hampshire, in 46th place. Could it be that kombucha is a “Democratic” beverage? A badge of ‘wokeness’?
As significant (or not) as that might be, there are glaring exceptions, such as Alaska (remember Sarah Palin?) and other deep red states in the top 10 (e.g. Dick Cheney’s Wyoming). While among the two tied for bottom place with no kombucha brands that we know of is Joe Biden’s Delaware. In fact, except for Vermont and DC, the Northeast is surprisingly under served by brands per capita. This might be a positive sign for anyone considering going into business — there is a lot of market share up for grabs.
This map shows how the States are divided politically and where they rank in terms of number of brands per capita.
The same caveats apply as in 2020. These numbers include companies of all sizes, from the largest national brands such as GTs, Health-Ade, and Humm to much smaller ‘Ma & Pa’ operations. Lacking information on company size (most are privately owned and do not report revenue or volume produced), the numbers nevertheless show how the market has evolved.
The Worldwide Directory is an archival list. We include any commercial company with a professional label or logo, even though the social media platform has not had recent updates. The company might have gone out of business, or perhaps everyone is too busy brewing ‘booch to post!