Better-for-you Booze: JuneShine Raises $24M for Hard Kombucha

JuneShine

Hard kombucha company JuneShine closed a $24M Series B funding round led by investors including Amberstone and Litani Ventures, the principals behind RXBAR.

Launched in 2018 and bootstrapped by its founders, the company secured a seed investment in 2019 and an undisclosed Series A earlier this year.

With the new cash influx, JuneShine plans to expand into the wider category of better-for-you brews with seltzers and low- or no-alcohol craft beers.

Lighter and Brighter

Organic, probiotic, and gluten-free, JuneShine offers health-conscious revelers a tangy alternative to hard seltzer.

With functional ingredients and snazzy, IG-ready packaging, the San Diego-based brewer is a leader in the hard kombucha space.

  • Claiming nearly half of the hard kombucha pie, JuneShine is set to keep pace with the segment, which is expanding 50% YoY.
  • Revenues tripled from 2019 to 2020 and are on track to double again this year to $30M, fueled by retail growth and new product lines.
  • Shining in retail, the brand’s chain placements are up 91%; chain volume is up 145%.

JuneShine also plans to fund the development of brick-and-mortar tasting rooms outside of California and work with its celebrity ambassadors to launch new flavors.

Better Bitters

Fresh off of sober October, mindful drinkers are driving the growth of the healthier booze market.

  • Interest in non-alcoholic beverages is steadily growing in the US, with demand up 60% YoY.
  • Over half of Americans say they’re trying to drink less; that number jumps to 66% for Gen Z and millennials.

JuneShine isn’t the only better-for-you brew looking to capitalize on the $30B non-alcoholic market:

  • Non-alcoholic spirit maker Lyre raised $37M this week at a $500M valuation.
  • Functional, non-alcoholic beverage brand Three Spirit reported 11x growth in domestic sales through August this year and just raised $3M in seed funding.
  • Alcohol-free craft beer and wine startup Gruvi raised $2M in seed capital in September in a raise led by Rockies Venture Club.
  • NA beer company Athletic Brewing grabbed $50M this summer.

Meanwhile, Ritual Zero Proof reported 241% in revenue growth last year and is rolling out into retail after partnering with Whole Foods in October.

Takeaway: After a pandemic-driven spike in alcohol consumption, consumer behavior is shifting. These days, many just want a night out without the morning-after regrets. Whether that’s making drinks with healthier alcohol, lower alcohol, or no alcohol, mindful liquor brands are here to tend to your cocktail fix.