Sugar cut as drinks go low

New juice-based lines aim at the health-conscious

SOFT drinks and even fruit juices have come under pressure from activists expressing concern on sugar consumption recently.

But soft drinks manufacturers have been responding to what they see as changes in regular consumer demand and have been launching new lower-sugar lines.

Coconut palm
Rubicon Light & Fruity, a new range with half the sugar of some other juice drinks.

For example, AG Barr has released Rubicon Light & Fruity, a new range with half the sugar of other juice drinks. The firm describes it as “a win-win” for consumers.

The new line-up includes a Light & Fruity version of the brand’s best-selling Mango flavour, plus Mango & Coconut, and Mango, Lime & Mint.

Feel Good, still or sparkling drinks aimed at health-conscious, urban, female consumers.

“Innovation, choice and health are the three key drivers for purchase within ambient juices, with products delivering on health and taste driving the majority of category growth,” said Adrian Troy, AG Barr’s head of marketing.

AG Barr recommends that retailers merchandise Rubicon Mango Light & Fruity beside regular Rubicon Mango and range the three Light and Fruity flavours together.

Feel Good, the natural soft drinks brand owned by Nichols, has revamped its range and branding, introducing new flavours and redesigned packaging in a bid to appeal to its target audience – health-conscious, urban, female consumers, looking for healthier soft drinks.

Feel Good drinks are a mix of 100% natural fruit juices and still or lightly sparkling water, referred to either as ‘Refreshingly Still’ or ‘A Bit Bubbly’. They contain no added sugar.

Launched last month, the new Feel Good range will be, says Nichols, widely available in grocery multiples, convenience stores, wholesalers, and on-trade outlets. Packs include 275ml glass bottles, as singles and in four-packs, 750ml glass bottles, 400ml PET, and Feel Good Kids in 275ml tetra wedges.

Becky Unwin, Feel Good Drinks senior brand manager, said the firm had found there is an appetite for products that tasted good but which used natural ingredients and no added sugar.

feel-good-apple-elderflower-water-sparkling-275ml“We’re investing heavily in trade and consumer marketing around the re-launch to introduce the new brand identity and support the trade in making the most of the opportunity Feel Good presents,” she said.

And Vimto, another Nichols brand, is pushing the no-added sugar range that forms part of its core Vimto and Vimto Remix lines with a nationwide trade marketing initiative, including POS materials, in-depot displays, coupons at till points, and online advertising. The activity is designed to increase consumer trial of the product, and help retailers capitalise on growing demand for low and no-added sugar-soft drinks, the firm said.

Vimto No Added Sugar range sales have increased by 11%, which is six times faster than the no-added sugar category, and Vimto Remix, which is a no-added sugar drink, has added more than £1.5m sales to the category since its launch earlier this year, Nichols said.