Posted: 24/05/2021

Product focus: Soft drinks

With the COVID outlook becoming more positive and the warmer months on their way, it’s time to gear up for customers who will be looking to eat outside, and in larger groups. This week we take a look at soft drinks.

Start-up Jitterbug is hoping to capitalise on the popularity of apple cider vinegar with a new soft drink that is designed to “revitalise from within”. Apple Cider Vinegar Seltzers are available in three no-added-sugar flavours, crafted from English botanicals, real fruit juice and ‘superfoods’ such as Japanese yuzu. RRP £2.49 per 250ml can or 350ml bottle.

Welsh drinks producer Radnor is hoping to harness the functional water trend with a new sub-brand called Vits that promises a “once a day vitamin and mineral boost”. Vitamin D has been brought to the fore by the pandemic, so the launch of a vitamin D-enriched water is timely. Vits comes in two flavours: Lemon & Lime and Apple & Raspberry.

OHMG is homing in on the health functionality of magnesium with a five-strong range of canned still and sparkling waters. Each 330ml can provides 56g of magnesium, along with other ingredients – such as lemon balm, echinacea, ashwagandha and vitamin C – in palatable fruit-botanical flavour combinations.Purists might prefer the two unflavoured varieties. RRP £1.95 per can (trade £1.05).

Brite Drinks has harnessed one of the biggest trends of the last few years – nootropics – by developing a trio of beverages for mental performance. Pitched as a natural alternative to caffeine- and sugar-loaded energy drinks, Brite is packed with ‘superfoods’ such as matcha, guarana and guayusa that contain natural nootropics and features no sugar or sweeteners. RRP £2.50 for 330ml.

Indies looking for a soft drinks family that will look good on-shelf or in the chiller should check out Scottish fruit soda brand Rapscallion. The Glasgow soft drinks producer has picked up two industry awards for its minimalist packaging design since it was rolled out last year.
The drinks themselves are engineered by hand and are a case study in harnessing fresh fruit in soft drink production.
“We extract the taste and aroma from ingredients before utilising pressure and temperature to elevate the natural taste from the fruit,” says Gregor Leckie, the company’s founder. “We then finish the soda by supercharging with carbonation.”
By maximising the flavour of the fruit, Rapscallion says it uses less than half the sugar found in most soft drinks.
As well as seasonal flavours, Rapscallion has a core, season-proof range, which includes Ginga Ninja, Burnt Lemon and Dry Lime. RRP £2.50 for 250ml.

Crafted Drinks has taken the classic designated driver drink and elevated it to a more sophisticated level. Unlike a cordial-based lime & soda, Posh Lime & Soda contains no sugar and sweeteners and is made with real lime juice. RRP £1.59 for 330ml.

Last month saw a well-known tea label making its foray in soft drinks, as Teapigs became the latest company to stake a claim in the on-trend kombucha market.
Teapigs’ kombucha proposition contains no artificial flavours and sweeteners and is craft brewed in the UK using a live scoby. There are three blends, presented in slimline 250ml cans: Original is brewed with Rwandan black and Mao Feng green tea from China, whilst both Ginger & Lemongrass and Peach & Mango are based on the company’s original ‘booch’ with infusions.
The company, which was started by Nick Kilby and Louise Allen in 2006, hopes its kombucha will appeal to those looking for a wellness beverage, a healthier soft drink or an alcohol alternative. RRP £1.90.

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