Food (kefir) for thought


Kefir grain definitely has health benefits.



Gut health is important, a very compelling evidence.


Well how good is this kefir guys!


Well a good comparison. We are not selling capsules, however, still good to know kefir drink is good for gut health.


Water kefir is right up there.

Some good info graphics too for our product fact sheet.




Kefir kits, a better match

Last week was fairly intense trying to come up with a product that our persona would want. We tried water and coconut water kefir drinks with cherry juice. Although water kefir tasted good and was even better with the juice, it posed another challenge. How do we stop the fermentation and what would be the shelf life of the product?

Water kefir was an anrobic fermentation hence ever when the bottles were sealed it would practically keep fermenting and would become alcoholic and fizzy and sour. The second challenge were the blogs and articles suggesting commercial kefir was less healthier than home made ones as it had considerably fewer probiotics.

We hit the hub with our survey to find out about the awareness of fermented products and healthy drinks. Sara would post a detailed version of the outcome however few highlights are listed here. Firstly, out of 24 surveyed, 14 would consume fermented products for health benefits. Only 3 people heard about kefir. Since our persona was educated and was willing to acquire knowledge for health benefits hence the findings were not totally discouraging.

Sitting at the hub drinking coffee and scratching our heads, we did have a Eureka moment! Thanks to our Masters’ student Penny and our dear lecturer Richard. Penny, a naturopath,ntold us that there was a shortage and a wait list to get kefir grains in Dunedin. Cool. Richard forced us to look harder at our business model. Challenging. The team came up with the idea of selling kefir grains.

Now it all makes sense. Kefir grains was a much better design solution for our persona than the bottled kefir water. We possibly need to start a subscription based business selling kefir grains and cherry juice. A lean business model suggesting to sell the business in the top end of the growth phase or offering a wider range of fermented products kits.

The task ahead is to come up with a brand, branding story, logo, packaging and visually simple reinforcing imagery. We also need to finalise our strategy for the coming Saturday farmers’ market survey.

Tell me team, who is doing what in next two days till we meet on Wednesday ❓

See ya🍒

Water Kefir, the way to go

Good to see the whole team together trying to solve this design problem! Obviously, Kanji was a stink bomb and kombucha was ordinary too. It will also take a long time to prototype kombucha as the fermentation takes more than a week.

Thanks Sara for bringing the fermented kefir for all of us to try.We concluded after tasting that coconut water based kefir was too pungent and a bit obnoxious to drink. On the other hand water kefir was fairly good. Although it tasted very sweet the sugar content was around 5%.The sugar content of the cherry juice was 7%. We mixed equal portions of cherry juice and kefir and the taste was still a bit sweet. The sugar content of the mix was 12% which is fantastic as compared to other drinks in the market.We are not sure of the shelf life of the finished product at this stage. We could add some malic acid to bring the acidity of the product down to 4 or 4.5 and then if we add sodium benzoate in it then it can act as an preservative.

Another important aspect is to check with the target audience if they are willing to incorporate a product like that in their life style. We will design a questionnaire and make another batch of the product and ask the guys at the hub tomorrow. We are aiming to find out if they use fermented products, buy or make healthy drinks and why do they do that. We also aim to find as to how and when they use these drinks at home. We would also give them a taste of the kefir and see what they think and if they have tried this product before. See you tomorrow with the findings.

This is an interesting place to learn about water kefir.

Water Kefir!!!

This is the start of the coconut water kefir! I got the water kefir grains yesterday from a naturopath and put the brew on this morning at around 10:30 am. I have done a batch of coconut water kefir (on the right – 3 cups organic coconut water and 1/2 cup water kefir grains) to test how that turns out. Personally, I think this smells really good! I can’t wait to try it with the cherry flavour!

However, on the left is just plain water kefir (3 tbsp organic cane sugar, fair trade, 2 cups distilled water[very important to use dilstilled], and 1/4 cup of water kefir grains. I have put this batch in just sugar water for the purpose of reproducing them so we have more to work with once the base batch of coconut water is done. Then, next time, we will be able to do more batches. Water kefir grains do not really reproduce in coconut water, so it is important that they are hydrated before use.

These batches should be done by Sunday morning at 1030. When that time comes I will change the kefir grain sugar water to make sure they don’t starve. I’ll update you guys later on to let you know how it goes!

Good luck with your persona reports by the way!


Prototype #1 – 14 March

What are we doing today?


  • start bulk brew #1 of kombucha
  • make a cherry pulp and vacuum pack it for when the kombucha is finished
  • start a brew of cherri kanji (indian fermented veggie/food drink)

Main materials needed:

  • mesh cloth
  • coffee filters
  • glass jar to brew kombucha

We aim to start one bulk batch of kombucha today. We bought a kombucha starter kit from Taste Nature that we are going to use which yields roughly 2 litres in 7-10 days. This has the directions to brew it in a pamphlet, pictured below.

rene's kombucha recipe.jpg

From there,we are going to try out different levels of fruit flavour to see which tastes the best. We are going to bottle the kombucha in 300ml bottles with each bottle having a different percentage of cherry pulp, which we will make today. Then the bottles of kombucha will be left out for a further two days (this is called the second fermentation), and this process will create a delightful fizz in the bottle for when it is consumed.

We also aim to make brew #1 of cherry kanji. This recipe will take about 3-4 days, considerably shorter than that of kombucha. This drink ferments with the cherries in it, so there is no need for a second fermentation. The outcome is fizzy.

Cherry Kanji Recipe

cherry kanji recipe.jpg