Rowdy Mermaid Launches Mushroom-Based Adaptonic Line

From: Bevnet
By: Brad Avery

Rowdy Mermaid is extending its portfolio of functional beverages beyond kombucha with its new Adaptonic line of sparkling immunity beverages.

The tonics, launching this month, are made with fruit, botanical herbs and Reishi mushrooms. The line is available in four flavors: Ashwagandha Blackberry, Matcha Yuzu, Strawberry Holy Basil and Chamomile Lime. Each 12 oz. can contains fewer than 25 calories and 6 grams of sugar and will retail for $3.29. The line is available online direct to consumer and will roll out to Whole Foods Market stores in the Rocky Mountain region next month and nationwide into Sprouts by May.

Rowdy Mermaid has previously used mushrooms as a functional ingredient in several of its existing kombucha products, including its Living Ginger and Lion’s Root flavors. According to founder and CEO Jamba Dunn, the company has long focused on the ingredient as an opportunity for new product innovations, but it was the COVID-19 pandemic that inspired the brand to focus on immunity.

The Adaptonic line seeks to maximize the functional benefits of mushrooms, including anti-inflammatory components and the immunity-boosting fiber molecule beta-glucan. Dunn suggested that a “floodgate” for immunity-boosting food and beverage products has opened within the past year, so Adaptonic was also designed to have a value-add proponent for consumers who are already on top of existing health trends with additional ingredients like ashwagandha.

The company partnered with researchers in Taiwan to create a beverage that had the benefits of mushrooms without the flavor, Dunn added, noting that the drinks are instead fruit-forward and botanical “like a sparkling mineral water.”

“It was a little bit difficult to understand the positioning of Adaptonic because it is such a novel product,” Dunn said. “And so we decided to really lean into the benefits and lean into the ingredients and lean into the natural category. Because of that, we decided to pair it with lots of ingredients that we in-house here take on a regular basis to help with immunity and weren’t shy about creating a product that was very specialized in a way.”

Accompanying the launch of Adaptonic, Rowdy Mermaid is also introducing a new caffeinated kombucha flavor: Grapefruit Rise. The addition to the brand’s core line was previously available in the brand’s Colorado taproom and is made with grapefruit, rosemary, yerba mate and green tea. Each 12 oz. can contains 100 mg of caffeine and will be focused on meeting a morning coffee or breakfast tea occasion, Dunn said.

The launch comes as Rowdy Mermaid’s retail presence continues to grow nationwide, including a global expansion to all regions of Whole Foods Market this month for its existing kombucha line.

The Whole Foods expansion accompanies broader distribution growth across the natural and grocery channels so far this year, including 100 Stop & Shop locations, 70 Fresh Thyme stores, 23 Sweetgreen locations (with plans to be in 43 stores by the end of the year), and Met Markets, Healthy Edge Group, Market of Choice, Rosemont Market and Kowalskis stores.

Dunn noted that the Northeast has become an increasingly important market for Rowdy Mermaid, however the South and the Midwest are fast growing as well.

“For us, it’s a massive move,” Dunn said. “It really puts us on the map as a contender in the kombucha category.”