Have you ever walked into a grocery store or restaurant and been too overwhelmed to make a decision on what you want? Why does there have to be so many options for ketchup? Why do I need to decide between 4 different types of flour tortillas for taco night? How do I even choose?
While I understand wanting to provide the consumer as much variety as possible, sometimes less really is more – especially for someone who is as indecisive as myself. It is the paradox of choice. Give me just one or two options and I will be on my way. Give me four options or more, and I tend to just give up.
While I often feel indecisive multiple times a day, I especially felt overwhelmed while stopping by the kombucha aisle at my local Lassens. Why are there so many choices and how did it get this way?
Over the past decade, kombucha has become a staple in the health and wellness world, offering probiotics that support gut health in a trendy, fizzy drink. The market has become oversaturated with brands that all look relatively the same. ‘Health,’ ‘Synergy,’ ‘Dr.,’ ‘Clear Mind,’ are all words that stand out on glass bottles with bright, matte colors and clean fonts aligned on the shelf.
So, what makes one brand stand out over the other if they all promote the same healthy benefits, highest quality ingredients and great tasting flavor? You take a step out of the box, away from what everyone else is doing, and carve your own path.
After scanning the monotonous refrigerated shelves, I couldn’t help but giggle when my eye caught a pun that brought back pre-teen video game nostalgia. ‘Mortal Kombucha’ in a funky font with a cartoon hand crushing the juice of a lime jumped off of a bright blue bottle. A giggle turned into an audible chuckle after reading ‘Marg Simpson,’ – another nostalgic, comedic reference combined with my favorite cocktail – how could I not be intrigued?
While I was eager to give this playful flavor a shot, I am not going to lie; I was a bit skeptical at first… a margarita-flavored kombucha? Initially, the flavor was a tad too sweet for me – I don’t think I could finish the bottle in one sitting, however, a shot (or two ;)) of tequila mixed in would be the ultimate game changer, or should I say, a “flawless victory”.
In addition to the Marg Simpson, I was curious to try the Black Sage, consisting of Blackberry, Ginger and Sage. The three ingredients combined perfectly and was refreshing without being too sweet. Definitely a favorite of the two.
So who is the mastermind behind creating such a witty brand? After being diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic, founder Becca Shepps was on a mission to create a kombucha that was low in sugar and “absolutely rad tasting.” Utilizing her experience in the advertising world as a creative director, copywriter and designer, Becca wanted to create a gutsy kombucha that “flex it’s cool”, and with that in mind, Mortal Kombucha was born. Based in Boulder, Colorado, the brand’s mission is to “fight death” (or you could say, avoid a fatality) “by making the realest kombucha from organic black and green tea, and master the healthiest, bubbliest, tastiest elixir our mortal bodies [can] handle.”
So, what’s the verdict? Mortal Kombucha’s playful humor and punny messaging in their brand positioning is a breath of fresh of air from the typical health and wellness marketing we see. The brand is a differentiator in the space given its lighthearted nature, creative flavors and nostalgic references, targeting a new audience of kombucha drinkers. They still pride themselves in providing the highest quality ingredients but tackle their messaging from a completely different angle.
The woman-owned brand is still in the early stages, but due to the unique flavors and witty branding, I see Mortal Kombucha as a leading differentiator in the space with a clear path towards success.