UK: AB InBev subsidiary to distribute Fix8 kombucha

Beer Hawk, an online delivery service for beer and other beverages which was bought in 2016 by ABInBev’s subsidiary ZX Ventures, has announced to start distributing Fix8 kombucha drink through its chilled supply chain Beer Hawk Fresh.

Beer Hawk Fresh was started in September to deliver cold-chain beer in kegs, cans and bottles to the on- and off-trade. It distributes a wide variety of specialty beers and related beverages from a refrigerated warehouse in Central London. The scope of delivery comprises own beers but also products from other companies.

The new distribution agreement might be a hint that AB InBev is interested in taking a closer look at the kombucha market which offers a huge potential in a related market segement.

Fix8 was founded in 2017 by Freya Twigden in London, as a first ‘job’ graduating from university.

“Authentically brewed kombucha, which must be stored chilled if it contains the live bacteria and yeast, is more flavoursome,” Twigden was quoted in a press release. “While some kombucha producers sterile-filter their product, that’s allowing the shortcomings of the supply chain to dictate product quality, and we were stubborn enough not to compromise.”

“We’ve worked hard to develop our range of unique flavours, as well as investing in the fermenting expertise and equipment to produce kombucha in ideal condition, and so it’s important to know that it’s reaching our customers, and ultimately consumers, in the same prime chilled condition.”

“Freshly-fermented kombucha must be stored chilled, otherwise it is overly-filtered and void of bacteria and yeast – essentially it becomes a ‘dead’ kombucha,” she adds. “It has been a challenge to find cold-chain distribution for the on-trade in particular, as most wholesalers only offer ambient distribution.”

“There’s also a lot of crossover between craft beer and kombucha drinkers, depending on the occasion. Kombucha is a great craft non-alcoholic ferment, that retains complexity and flavour when you’re having a night off, so we think our partnership with Beer Hawk Fresh has strong potential to develop.”

Andrew Morgan, Head of Beer Hawk Fresh, said: “The Fix8 range complements the expanding choice of brewery-fresh beers we distribute, and further demonstrates the benefits of our partnership approach to working with craft drinks producers.”

“With consumers increasingly expecting to be offered a broad range of premium drinks in prime condition, we’re delighted to be expanding our offer to on-trade and off-trade retailers with the addition of the Fix8 range. For operators looking for a premium non-alcoholic offering to engage customer interest, which is important during Dry January and increasingly all year round, it enhances the choice of brands we offer.”

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