Foodstuffs North Island - which operates New World and Pak’nSave supermarkets in Te Ika-a-Māui - has recalled Daily Organics Kombucha products after an investigation by Re: News revealed the non-alcoholic range was over two times the legal alcohol limit.

Foodstuffs North Island released a notice today, asking supermarkets to remove Daily Organics Kombucha products from the shelves.

The notice said it was a precautionary measure after Daily Organics Kombucha samples Foodstuffs sent for testing “indicate higher alcohol % than that stated on the label”.

Daily Organics Kombucha is sold as a non-alcoholic beverage, which legally means they must have less than 1.15% alcohol.

As part of our investigation released earlier this month, Re: News had three varieties of Daily Organics Kombucha tested by internationally accredited Hill Laboratories, and found the alcohol contents were:

  • Original: 2.8%
  • Lemon and Ginger: 3.0%
  • Chai Spices and Ginger: 3.2%

In response to our investigation MPI’s New Zealand Food Safety deputy director-general Vincent Arbuckle said based on test reports supplied to them by Daily Organics over the past six years, and a verification conducted by their organisation last year they found “nothing to support the allegations of elevated alcohol levels in Daily Organics kombucha”.

Earlier this month a Foodstuffs spokesperson said the company had asked MPI about our allegations and “following these discussions, the regulatory authority has confirmed the products meet regulatory requirements”.

In their withdrawal notice today, Foodstuffs North Island said its results “are not consistent with Daily Organics’ testing and auditing regime which are supported by MPI and the Audit Verifier”.

Foodstuffs North Island said it has initiated an investigation with Daily Organics, “the result of which will confirm whether or not it can be placed back on the shelf”.

We have reached out to Foodstuffs and Daily Organics for comment, and will update the story with their responses.

Update 1/12/2022:

A Foodstuffs spokesperson confirmed this withdrawal, saying “while the regulatory authority has confirmed the products meet all regulatory requirements, Foodstuffs, as a responsible retailer, with a duty of care to our customer's, have chosen to take independent tests across Daily Organics Kombucha".

"While this testing is being carried out and until results are definitive, the products have been withdrawn from shelves and placed on hold.”

Daily Organics has not yet responded to Re: News. 

More stories:

This non-alcoholic kombucha has nearly 3 times the legal alcohol limit

In response to our testing, the Daily Organics co-director said “that’s your opinion”.

‘My heart beats for Iran’: The grief, rage and hope of Iranian NZers

"We won’t stop until Iran is free."

Why it’s hard to know the impact of cannabis on lungs

Specialists say the illegal status of cannabis in many countries makes it difficult to study.