USA – The Coca-Cola Company, the global beverages manufacturer, has acquired kombucha maker Organic & Raw Trading Co., which makes the MOJO brand of naturally fermented, live culture, organic kombucha drinks.

The company said that MOJO kombucha – which is sold throughout Australia – is made from naturally fermented tea, and is the fastest-growing beverage category in Australia.

“In just over eight years, Organic & Raw has gone from selling MOJO at a local farmers’ market to producing one of Australia’s leading organic kombucha brands,” said Vamsi Mohan, president, Coca-Cola Australia.

“Our goal is to bring MOJO to more Australians by making it available in more places across the country. Consumers will be able to see the same great MOJO products on more store shelves.”

Anthony Crabb, co-founder and CEO of Organic & Raw, perfected his handmade, fermented drink in his home in 2010.

Since then, MOJO has grown rapidly, using the highest-quality organic ingredients, including real fruit for great taste.

Two key leaders who have been responsible for driving MOJO’s growth, Crabb, and Sales and Marketing Director Andrew Buttery, will remain in their current roles.

“When we started out, we couldn’t have imagined the incredible growth and consumer demand we see today,” Crabb said.

“As we continued to innovate, we soon realized that for us to take the business to the next level and provide probiotic beverages to even more people, we needed to find the right strategic partner. We found this partner in Coca-Cola.”

Organic & Raw’s biggest selling kombucha is MOJO CRAFTED KOMBUCHA, a low-sugar, naturally-fermented, live-culture, organic drink.

“With this acquisition, Coca-Cola Australia can take a leading role in helping The Coca-Cola Company in the still-emerging, premium-probiotic kombucha category, which is the fastest-growing beverage category in Australia,” Mohan said.

The company added that MOJO’s humble beginnings link to Crabb’s introduction to the concept of a live-culture drink, which requires a SCOBY-starter (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast).

This put him on a journey to perfect the MOJO culture, which is at the heart of what makes his brew of kombucha so distinctive.

“It is a hands-on approach, to ensure MOJO has one of the highest-quality, naturally fermented and brewed beverages in Australia,” Crabb said.

“Each bottle that leaves our site is made with Certified Organic ingredients under stringent quality controls and 100 percent love.

Coca-Cola enables us to expand our reach while keeping our heart and soul.”

Mohan credits the convergence of several consumer trends with driving MOJO’s rapid growth.

“Australians are increasingly after great-tasting, low sugar drinks that deliver additional functional benefits, such as gut health,” he said.

“They also support sustainable packaging options, and MOJO uses clear glass bottles that can be recycled.

MOJO will play an important part in helping Coca-Colameet our commitment to reduce sugar by 20 percent by 2025 and in meeting our sustainability commitments through providing recyclable packages.”

MOJO products are currently sold in about 4,000 outlets nationwide. MOJO is available in local health food stores, organic markets, organic café restaurants and supermarkets including Aldi, Costco, Foodland, IGA and Woolworths.

This is the first time Coca-Cola has acquired full ownership of a brand in the category, although terms were not disclosed.