Taha originated from its founders desire to produce something different using a fusion of Asian and New Zealand Māori herbal ingredients that are traditionally used for healing and wellbeing. Taha’s ingredients include organic fermented ginger beer root, sustainably hand-picked kawakawa, mānuka honey flavour and pure New Zealand water. The magic ingredient in Taha is Kawakawa, picked wild from forest on family land at Waitomo Caves and the Bay of Islands.
What is your company background, how did you start the business?
“Taha evolved from the owners, Richard Te Hurinui Jones and Simon Harman innovating with kawakawa. Both owners drank kawakawa tea and knew about its medicinal properties. Simon produced NZ’s first kawakawa beer, Taa Kawa.
“In 2010 we two got together and looked at what other beverages could be produced using kawakawa as a key ingredient. In discussion with their contract brewer, Steam Brewing Co Ltd, we came up with the idea of producing a non-alcoholic beverage. Taha was first produced and went on sale in July 2012. Taha, translated from Māori, has a number of meanings including; to belong, side and edge. We have infused these meanings into our beverage.
“The Taha Team wild harvests the kawakawa from within New Zealand's native forests. Not many commercially produced beverages can claim that an ingredient is hand-picked and sustainably wild-harvested. No plants or people are harmed during this process!”
What is the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?
“Taha currently produces one product, Taha-Natural As. This comes in two formats, 15x330ml case and 6X4pack case. We felt that we needed to get this product established before branching out and producing other native plant based flavoured beverages. Taha-Natural As is free from GMO, MSG, dairy, soy and gluten. It is the only kawakawa based soft drink available in New Zealand and the world.”
Has there been any recent company news?
“Taha has secured a distributor & sales for Hong Kong, Macau, China, Japan and Taiwan and sent its first exports to Hong Kong October 2016. Distribution and sales are currently being worked through for the Netherlands, Australia and Indonesia.”
What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there expansion on the horizon?
“Taha intends to increase its range of beverages and look into other plant-based products such as kawakawa cream, oil and tea. The business is currently focused on increasing domestic sales and export markets.”
Where are your products currently available to buy?
“Taha is available in Countdown supermarkets throughout NZ, selected Fresh Choice supermarkets and in a number of New Worlds and PaknSaves in the North Island. It is also available in selected tourism outlets, cafes, restaurants and bars. While penetration into supermarkets is an ongoing focus, we see big potential for Taha to tap into the café, bar and restaurant scene particularly as Taha is also a good mixer.”