Kava Industry Market Forecast

The Kava Industry Is Surging Up - Is Kava Here To Stay?

Businesses around the world have once again been scrambling to secure as much Kava as possible since the World Health Organization ruled in 2015 that kava is SAFE and not toxic to the liver, as had been previously claimed. The recent WHO ruling on Kava has led to the removal of some controls on imports and sales in countries like Germany, and parts of Australia to name a few.

The green light by the World Health Organization has put the spotlight back on Kava root (Piper methysticum) and has set the stage for the biggest Kava demand surge in industry history.  Everyone from pharmaceutical companies to beverage industry giants are once again positioning themselves to incorporate Kava into their product line.  Not to mention the recent Kava bar phenomena that has exploded onto the U.S. market like coffee shops once did in it's early days of industry. 

The Kava market as a whole has been one giant rollercoaster ride over the past 30 years.  Looking back at the 1990's Kava boom, the U.S. demand for Kava from Fiji alone spiked almost 500% from 1997 to 1998.  Pharmaceutical companies being the driving factor for the overall surge in Kava consumption at the time. 

Kava Industry

Kava in the United States

The data from the 1990's Kava market in Fiji is a reminder of how quickly the Kava industry can grow.  Twenty years removed from 1998, we may now be at the dawn of the biggest kava demand surge ever. 

Big data trend forecasters have been publicly buzzing about Kava since the roots safety was affirmed by the World Health Organization in 2015.  Whole Foods already had Kava listed as a top 10 ingredient trend to look out for in 2017. 

In the late 1990's, we saw a lot of functional beverage companies incorporate Kava as an ingredient in their products.  In 2001,  companies like Vitamin Water, Snapple, and Sobe to name a few all had Kava as an ingredient in at least one of their products.  If history repeats itself and major players in the functional beverage space decide to incorporate Kava as an ingredient again, the demand for Kava generated today will be astronomical in comparison to what we saw in the late 1990's.  Consider this, the functional beverage industry was only in it's infancy by 2001.  The U.S. functional beverage market generated $4.7 billion in revenue in 2000 compared to a projected $24.5 billion market for 2018.

So after looking back at a few key points that has happened within the Kava industry over the last 30 years.  We want to know your thoughts on the future of Kava.  Are we on the dawn of the biggest Kava boom in industry history?

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8 comments

  • Thank you for sharing your thoughs on Kava market. We in Solomon Islands just started to understand the importance of this cash plant. Already we had seen growth in kava plant farming in some parts of the country. Export is also increasing and this is good news for Solomon Islands kava farmers. However, Solomon Islands still lack behind major exporting Pacific Islands country such as Fiji and Vanuatu in terms of production and export quantity. But with the new found interest in kava plants and more inflow of information reaching local people about kava domestic price, planting of kava has steadily increased. I believe that in the near future, kava will form a core cash product for Solomon Islands like copra and cocoa. We are in a very early development stage yet.

    Felix Billy Iniga
  • Good

    Paul Damry
  • Like I said in my earlier post below, the demand base is growing steadily. We see the continued increase in the number of Kava Bars around the USA, we see a new Kava Bar in downtown Auckland, we see more new consumers dipping their tow in the waters to try kava and bigger companies are looking again at having kava as a bigger part of the business sales.

    So that, in my view, is an educated growth curve. In other words, new consumers are educating themselves well before they dive into it.

    There is also the wellness aspects as consumers worldwide start to.move to healthier plant based, natural products and away from alcohol etc.

    I have been exporting lava to the USA for about 20 years and I can say with the sophistication of the market there in terms of their knowledge of Kava, its chemotype etc is growing very well. There is nothing better than a well educated consumer base to sustain long term demand for the product.

    Posts like this from Kavafied plus others help to build a sound knowledge base for new consumers and this gives confidence for them to try Kava.

    On the supply side, there is plenty Kava coming on to the Market in the New year, 2020.

    Also as evinced by the other pslosts in here, much organised farming is going in in Fiji. Although theyvarein small family groups or investment clubs, it nonetheless is expanding supply of Kava in a big way here in Fiji.

    In Vanuatu it is also the same. Increased cropping of Kava is happening.

    In Papua New Guinea there has been vigorous effort put In by farmers to triple the volume of.planted kava in the ground.

    All in all, the supply side is adapting to the expected increase and growth on the demand side around the world.

    Fiji Kava Company Ltd, the producers of Taki Mai have commissioned their tissue culture lab dedicated solely for the mass propagation of high quality kava varieties. This also will be a game changer.

    The risks remain as we come close to another cyclone season in November. Is there another Pam, Winston, Dorian sized cyclone waiting out there to hit the South Pacific?

    We shall wait and see.

    Meanwhile let’s all continue to work together to keep a our Kava industry clean and of a very high standard.

    John I. N. Sanday

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