Kefir and kombucha growth ferments in Europe

Press release - Wednesday 22 May 2019

Three new reports from global food and drink experts Zenith Global find strikingly different characteristics and opportunities in the fermented drinks categories of kefir, kombucha and apple cider vinegar in Europe. 


Kefir is a long-established market in East Europe and now growing fast in West Europe as a probiotic dairy drink to benefit gut health and the immune system.

Russia is the dominant country, with 67% of the 1,291 million litre market in 2018. In West Europe, however, kefir is just beginning to catch on and is set to grow by 12% a year up to 2023, almost doubling its overall European share from 9% to 17%.

“The main growth markets are expected to be the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Italy and Spain, with Germany and Poland also contributing strongly,” commented Zenith Global Chairman Richard Hall. “New product launches and marketing to a wider consumer base will be key factors.”


Kombucha, a lightly sparkling tea-based drink that is fermented for days or weeks, is at a much earlier stage of market development, even though its origins date back centuries.

Zenith Global values the European market at €66 million in 2018, mainly in West Europe, achieving growth of 35% in 2017 and 38% in 2018. Continuing volume growth of 35-40% a year is forecast up to 2023.

“Kombucha has the triple attraction of a distinctive adult taste, probiotic health benefit and a lifestyle alternative to alcohol,” added Richard Hall.

Apple cider vinegars

The European market for ready to drink apple cider vinegars is far smaller at under €1 million, led by the United Kingdom and Denmark. 2018 volume growth was close to 50%, indicating this could become another fermented drink market segment of potential.


“From small beginnings outside their traditional bases, these three emerging drinks markets are forecast to achieve high growth over the next five years,” concluded Zenith Chairman Richard Hall.

“Fermented drinks clearly chime with consumer demand for authentic, natural, tasty and healthy products with an element of adventure and challenge. Millennials, in particular, are joining a new culture club for cultured drinks.”

The Zenith Global 2019 Reports on Kefir, Kombucha and Drinkable Vinegars in Europe contain 250 pages, including statistics from 2013 to 2023, selected country profiles, 90 brand profiles and SWOT analyses. Contact Zenith Global on +44 (0)1225 327900 or email

Notes for Editors

  1. Two charts are attached for publication: Kefir growth forecast 2018-23, Kombucha in Europe 2018.
  1. For further information, please contact:

Louise Belsey, Zenith Global Ltd
7 Kingsmead Square, Bath BA1 2AB, United Kingdom
t +44 (0)1225 327926


Go back

Contact us

  • Forename
  • Surname
  • Telephone
  • Email
  • Company
  • Your message
  • How did you hear about Zenith Global?
  • Please specify how if 'Other'

Please leave us a message and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Zenith Global Ltd
7 Kingsmead Square
United Kingdom
UK tel: +44 (0) 1225 327900
US tel: +1 (404) 372 2758

Like most other business websites, we use ‘cookies’ to track usage and enhance website functionality. You are welcome to opt out or give your consent by continuing without changing this setting.

Change settings Continue

Find out more about Cookies