cludes the FDA alcohol-warning label. The company is still
in the process of licensing its original formula in many
states. This has proven to be a complicated process considering each state has its own laws and its own distributors—
Dave says he went from 10 to 15 distributors to now having
to have one or several per state. He has also had to work
with retailers, especially health foods stores, which don’t
usually have an alcohol license and frown upon the idea.
This changes as Dave helps them get excited about being
pioneers in the fermented foods category—one that is
likely to continue to grow due to the popularity of probiotics. So far, the Classic Line can be found in California,
Oregon, Florida, Michigan and Georgia and is coming
soon to Washington state.
“What happened last year was a test to ensure that we
The Success Continues
always stand up for what we believe,” says Dave. “From a
business standpoint, it may not have been the smartest,
but we chose to accept and embrace these changes for
now because it’s what we needed to do to get the product
that we believed in back in the hands of our fans.”
Although Dave would like to change the legislation
around this issue, he says the irony is that now it has be-
come a tax opportunity at many levels—manufacturing,
distribution and retail for both federal and state tax. “At
some point, I feel like this regulation will change, but you
have to convince many agencies to give up a tax opportu-
nity and that is not easy,” he observes.
Although the regulatory issues were a setback, sales
have steadily rebounded for GT’s Kombucha. What else
can we expect from the company in the future? Dave says
that new flavors will be released in the next couple of
months in both the “Enlightenment” and “Classic” lines.
With little concern for trends, Dave is simply set on creating new flavors that aren’t being done, or that “aren’t
being done well,” Dave says. “I am back to creating versus
just salvaging—it feels good. We have always been innovative, and regulations will not change that fact.” o
Mariah Hoffman is an editorial intern and contributing writer for Organic Processing. As an undergraduate of international studies and Spanish at the
University of Arizona, her focus is community development and education, specifically in South America. Mariah is also an activist for local, organic foods
and is passionate about making a difference in the world and looking for more ways to do so. You can reach her at
Kat Schuett is the editorial director for Organic Processing. You
can reach her at email@example.com.
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