What does HOLOS Kombucha sell?
HOLOS sells award-winning premium kombucha — a chilled fermented tea, packed full of good bacteria, antioxidants and organic acids.
Kombucha is a drink that’s been brewed for generations in Asia, probably originating in China (although nobody knows exactly — the recipes have been passed down for centuries!). It’s famous for having a host of properties which are believed to help rebalance and detoxify the body, and particularly the gut.
Our ‘Classic’ kombucha recently won Gold in a blind kombucha taste test of the UK’s leading kombuchas.
It’s a drink that’s become hugely popular in recent years throughout the world, as part of the huge increase in the heath and wellbeing sector generally, and it particularly taps into the mega-trends of gut health and fermentation which have been taking the UK by storm.
How does HOLOS differ from other brands?
First of all, we’ve created a really premium product — we have worked very hard to ensure that our kombucha is as pure and natural as possible, and that the benefits of fermentation are preserved throughout the process. So we brew our kombucha the traditional way, in small batches, and we don’t over-filter, or add loads of sweeteners and additives to the process (we do add some sugar, which the bacteria needs in order to thrive, and which gets ‘eaten up’ in the fermentation process). We use all-natural ingredients, and we don’t pasteurise our product.
Worldwide, the kombucha market has grown at a rate of 155% over the past 5 years, with the UK market predicted to be worth £160 million by 2022.
This authentic approach has really set our flavours apart in the UK market — our ‘Classic’ kombucha recently won Gold in a blind kombucha taste test of the UK’s leading kombuchas in Olive Magazine, and we were the kombucha of choice at Gwyneth Paltrow’s inaugural ‘In Goop Health’ summit in London this summer.
And then of course, there’s our social purpose!
HOLOS was created to support survivors of human trafficking through providing training and employment opportunities through the business.
We are currently the only socially purposeful UK kombucha brand, which is a real point of difference, and something our customers and stockists love.
What is HOLOS Social Purpose?
HOLOS was created to support survivors of human trafficking through providing training and employment opportunities through the business. This summer we held our very first survivor work placement programme, training survivors in various aspects of business and entrepreneurship including sales, marketing and manufacturing and of course, providing valuable income.
There are an estimated 136,000 slaves living in the UK and, especially in large urban centres like London, you could be only metres away from someone who is being trafficked.
Our goal is that the women who go through our placement programmes would then be able to work a regular weekend market for HOLOS, with the support of a paid support person, as a means of getting regular income. This model is self-supporting as the high margin of direct sales at markets can support two paid persons. And as a wider business strategy, it also helps build brand visibility and engagement, especially as we plan to employ women at a network of markets up and down the country.
What do you want to teach people about human trafficking?
One of the major misconceptions is, with the abolition of slavery in Britain in 1833, that this is now no longer an issue, or perhaps slavery is something that happens ‘somewhere else’ but not here. In fact, there are an estimated 136,000 slaves living in the UK and, especially in large urban centres like London, you could be only metres away from someone who is being trafficked. Exploitation could look like forced labour, forced sex work, domestic servitude or forced criminal activity, among other things.
How did HOLOS start and what are the company goals in the next 12 months?
HOLOS began with three of our founders: Naomi, Megan and Christine, who all had experience working or volunteering in the anti-trafficking sector in the UK. Recognising the lack of employment opportunities available to women who had been rescued from trafficking, they determined to find a solution, and began to think of business ideas.
There has been an explosion of interest in low and no alcohol drinks, with sales at a record high in the UK, now topping £100 million.
Brewing kombucha was something they quickly landed upon as a business proposition, due to the huge popularity of kombucha in overseas markets in places like North America and Australia. They saw the exponential growth in the UK health and wellbeing industry, and knew that kombucha was primed to be huge. Shortly after coming up with the concept, our other two founders Tom and Joseph came on board, with Tom leading the company and brewing kombucha full-time.
We have recently hired a new master brewer from an international kombucha brand, and our plans include moving to a much larger manufacturing facility in the next few months, as we’re currently fast outgrowing our current space!
We are also developing two new products specifically for the high-growth area of low and no alcohol products, and plan to move more into the bar and restaurant space to facilitate this. In fact, we’ve just launched across 11 London sites at Vietnamese restaurant chain Pho.
These goals are a huge part of why we’re crowdfunding for our next round of investment at the moment through equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs(Invest here: seedrs.com/holoskombucha.)
Why sell Kombucha? Will you expand to additional products in the future?
Worldwide, the kombucha market has grown at a rate of 155% over the past 5 years, with the UK market predicted to be worth £160 million by 2022. And interestingly, in the last two years, there has been an explosion of interest in low and no alcohol drinks, with sales at a record high in the UK, now topping £100 million.
So we know the demand is there for both kombucha and for low and no alcohol products; we believe that pubs and restaurants, as they look to expand their range of alcohol alternatives, is a key growth area for kombucha.
So that’s why we’re currently developing two new products which will cater specifically to the low and no alcohol market.
What is HOLOS proudest “doing good” moment to date?
Definitely hosting our first work placements for survivors of human trafficking this summer. To be able to pay survivors a London living wage, and to build their confidence, and come alongside them to help them rebuild their futures was a dream come true for all of us.
How can someone buy HOLOS Kombucha?
Customers in the UK can buy our kombucha online through drydrinker.com, which offers next day delivery to mainland UK. We are also available at over 40 stockists around London and Brighton — full details are available at holoskombucha.com/buy
Anything else to share?
We have recently launched a crowdfunding campaign through Seedrs, an equity crowdfunding platform. We are already 56% funded at time of writing, and we have a goal of raising £100,000.
You can check out the campaign at seedrs.com/holoskombucha