Profile: Bebida Vida, Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico
I enjoyed finding Bebida Viva Kombucha on the shelves of the large La Comer supermarket when visiting Puerto Vallarta on vacation. So, it’s appropriate that I conclude this series of profiles of Mexican brands by interviewing Marcelo Hinojosa, the founder of Bebida Viva.
Marcelo discovered kombucha while studying at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. On returning to his home in Mexico in 2016, he signed a distribution agreement with Texas brand Holy Kombucha. This transitioned to opening a facility to produce Holy Kombucha under license in Mexico, and a couple of years later, executed an amicable separation when he launched Bebida Viva in early 2019.
At that time, there were three people in the company. Five short years later, they now employ 20, produce 80,000 bottles a month, and are by far and away one of the leading brands in Mexico. Plans include funding expansion and looking into the viability of exporting their authentic kombucha into the States.
Writing on LinkedIn, Marcelo looked back at the explosive growth they had experienced last year and plans for 2024
As 2023 comes to a close, I reflect on a year of exceptional growth and learning for Bebida Viva. With an impressive 70% increase in our kombucha business to more than 700,000 bottles, we have established ourselves as leaders in Mexico, setting the pace and direction of the industry.
This year we not only added a notable list of new customers, but also continually improved the quality of our products, which was reflected in the Global Markets recertification. But, beyond the numbers and achievements, what really makes us proud is how we have positively impacted the lives of our consumers, offering a healthy and lively alternative to traditional beverages.
However, 2023 also came with its challenges. Demand exceeded our productive capacity and we faced obstacles in the search for new capital. But each challenge became an opportunity to innovate, streamline processes and strengthen ourselves. This resilience not only prepares us for a promising future but also allows us to carefully select our future partners.
I am deeply grateful for our team, whose dedication and passion are at the heart of Bebida Viva. Likewise, my gratitude extends to every consumer who has made our kombucha a part of their lives, confirming that what we do truly makes a difference.
Looking ahead to 2024, we anticipate another year of growth of over 60%, closing our capital raising round by the end of Q1 and other exciting opportunities such as the possibility of adding new products and beginning to export our kombucha to the USA.
The drinks are available in natural food stores and supermarkets throughout Mexico. Their website enables customers to order online. I was amused to hear that the La Comer market in Puerto Vallarta is, in fact, their leading outlet in the whole country, selling an average of 30 bottles a day. I’m personally responsible for a quarter of that volume on the days I shop there while on vacation!
They sell to consumers of all ages and types across Mexico. Young and old, men and women. Marcelo is aware that it’s early days for the kombucha market in Mexico. He notes that the Puerto Vallarta outlet does so well because of the large number of tourists in the area. In addition to La Comer, they can be found in Walmart, H-E-B, 7-Eleven, and other outlets.
Marcelo’s blog makes the case for healthy beverage options in Mexico:
Mexico faces serious health problems, especially related to diabetes and hypertension. These chronic diseases affect a large part of the population, have a significant impact on people’s quality of life and many have to do with the amount of sugar in drinks. According to statistics from the World Health Organization, on average Mexicans consume around 16 teaspoons of sugar a day (it is recommended not to exceed 6). Sugary drinks are the strongest source of this consumption, since 25% comes from them. It’s time to address these issues head-on and look for solutions that promote a healthier lifestyle.
The mission of Bebida Viva is to “offer innovative and sustainable products that promote health,” and to to change the world one bottle at a time.
We want to achieve this by revolutionizing the beverage industry by offering innovative, delicious and sustainable products that promote health and well-being. This last one is the most important. We want to offer healthy options in a market saturated with sugar-filled drinks. Not only do we want to offer drinks that are very low in sugar, but rather drinks that help the body, that help the person who drinks them feel more alive.
- Wild Hibiscus
- Mystic Green
- Fresh Watermelon
- Lemonade – Strawberry
- Raspberry – Cardamom
Last September, they introduced three varieties of “Kombucha +.” Sold in 500 ml bottles, these are
- Calm (l-theanine & lavender)
- Defense (echinacea & zinc)
- Energy (Yerba Mate)
Listen to the podcast to hear Marcelo tell the Bebida Viva story.