GT’s is definitely one of the more prominent, and oldest, kombucha companies out there. Over the past 22 years, they’ve expanded from a garage-based startup to become the global market leader for kombucha. In many ways, GT’s pioneered the category and set the stage for the surge in popularity we are now seeing. Trilogy is the flagship product of their Classic Synergy line.
The Kombucha Review
As soon as I started to twist the bottle cap, I was greeted by that familiar hiss of the escaping carbon dioxide. The first pour brought a barrage of bubbles (the picture does not do it justice). The color is a deep, inviting red tone with the normal opacity we expect from kombucha.
The ingredient list includes GT’s kombucha culture (with kiwi juice as a substituent ingredient-whoa), along with raspberry, lemon, and ginger juice. I suppose those are the three flavors that make up the trilogy-the label doesn’t specifically say. I can pick up both the kiwi and the ginger in the aroma. If I inhale deeply, I can pick up some faint berry notes hiding underneath the ginger. Overall, the aroma is very inviting.
At the taste, the ginger is evident but isn’t overpowering. I suspect that even consumers that don’t particularly like ginger won’t be offended with the subtle spice in the middle of the palate. The berry and kiwi flavors come in at the middle and smoothly carry over to the tart finish that brings just a slight pucker to the lips. The flavor profile is very well constructed, with a complete and consistent experience throughout the entire drink. Very well done.
The Label / Branding Review
GT’s labels are…colorful…to say the least. I suppose this is a carryover from when they were the only kombucha brand on the market. They needed to draw the attention of unfamiliar consumers any way they could. Now those colorful bottles allow them to stand out among the several kombucha brands on most grocery shelves while also serving as a reminder to long-time kombucha fans that the company has been here the whole time.
Still, I find the labels a little too circus-like. All of the flashy keywords, ornate decoration, and multiple colors is just a bit too much. The main color profile consists of a four color rainbow (red, yellow, green, blue) which is consistent with the number of flavors/juices (kiwi, raspberry, lemon, ginger) but inconsistent with the product name. I suppose that Quadlogy just doesn’t have the same ring.
The side labels have several sections, listing just about anything and everything that you could possibly wonder about including:
- An origin story from the founder,
- An explanation of kombucha as a raw food,
- A customer testimonial along with an invitation to the drinker to submit their own,
- A warning against consumption by pregnant or breastfeeding women,
- GT’s corporate address and other contact information, and
- Bottle refund information.
Interestingly, I had to provide my driver’s license to purchase this kombucha. (That’s a change since the last time I bought it, perhaps as a result of this lawsuit). And GT’s website says that the Classic Synergy line has greater than 0.5% ABV. But this information is no where to be found on the label. I was worried that I just missed it amidst all the other text, but after several additional checks, I’m confident that it’s just not there. I wonder how many confused teenagers are denied the ability to purchase this great product? I can image that would be fairly embarrassing and perfectly needless given how easily this information could be added to the label.
Thankfully, GT’s has backed away from the snakeoil promises of their previous product labels. (While the ‘cancer story’ still plays a prominent role on the company’s website, it’s toned down and has been removed from product labels).
I gave GT’s Trilogy Kombucha 7.9 out of 10 points. The taste is fantastic, but the labeling is complex and busy and the branding is still stuck in the last decade where kombucha was a complete unknown. I hope to see GT’s adapting to the market as it matures, helping to move it out of the realms of pseudoscience. Time will tell but, regardless, I’ll keep buying this great tasting kombucha.