River Cottage, the food and events business established by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, has signed a new deal to start producing its own range of Kombucha drinks in partnership with Equinox Kombucha. The deal was brokered by the UK licensing agent, The Point. 1888.
The antioxidant-rich tea based drink is commonly consumed for its wide-ranging health benefits and was marked as number one on River Cottage’s wish list of products. Under the new deal, River Cottage Organic Kombuchas will be made in partnership with Equinox, who have been making organic Kombuchas at their artisan “brewery” near Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire since 2013.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s successful food and events business brought on The Point.1888 back in February 2019 to help it generate further brand awareness and encourage the nation to eat more sustainably and ethically through the introduction of a broader range of consumer products.
These innovative products are being developed as part of River Cottage’s on-going mission to create Food to Inspire Change, and in line with its SLOW ethos of foods that are Seasonal, Local, Organic and Wild.
Since starting work with the brand, The Point.1888 has helped to secure six new partnerships for River Cottage, including an organic and eco-friendly coffee producer; one of the leading organic breweries in the UK; a bees wax plastic-free, food-safe wrap manufacturer, and an award-winning organic artisan cider producer.
This latest deal is with Equinox Kombucha, one of the UK’s fastest-growing makers of this increasingly popular traditional drink, based on brewing with live cultures known to be beneficial to a healthy gut.
Fearnley-Whittingstall, said: “I’ve been a big kombucha fan for a few years now. I think it’s a fantastic drink and I believe it’s not only helped me to maintain a diverse gut biome, but also to reduce my alcohol consumption by offering a complex and delicious alternative without a load of sugar and additives.
“I’ve been brewing my own at home and sampling almost any kombuchas being sold in the UK that I could get my hands on. But it frustrated me that so many of them are imported from abroad, and pasteurised so they are no-longer “live”. When I sampled the Equinox range I was blown away by the quality and delighted to note that it was fully organic, completely live, and being made right here in the UK.
“It’s been a fantastic experience to collaborate with Daniel and Rupert at Equinox to create a range of completely original River Cottage kombuchas, based on some of our favourite ingredients, from the Garden, Orchard, Hedgerow and Meadow.”
Louise Williamson, head of specialist brands at The Point.1888, added: “This partnership is significant, not just because it topped our client’s wish list, but also because we expect the timing of our launch should make it incredibly rewarding.
“While we continue to battle a global outbreak of Covid-19, there is a significant rise in the demand for immunity-boosting foods and beverages, particularly kombucha.”
Equinox has seen sales of its own brand of Kombucha rise significantly in retail over the last few years, something it ascribes to the rise in social awareness of gut health and the holistic health benefits of fermented living foods and drinks. With increasing evidence that there are links between our gut health, and our mental wellbeing and immunity, kombucha is poised to sky rocket in the marketplace in the wake of Covid-19.
With the River Cottage kombucha range now in production and packaging designs being finalised, The Point.1888 and Equinox are currently holding meetings with retailers to agree where the range will be stocked. It is expected to be in stores towards the end of September.