When the sugar tax came into action during May 2018, the UK was hit by shock announcements that each sugar loaded drink we loved would cost more money as it was bad for us.
This action, though unpopular – kickstarted a much-needed demand for healthier, low sugar drinks as consumers nor retailers want to pay the extra tax and realised the damage sugar was doing to our health
Where there is demand, there is always supply – an influx of stevia sweetened drinks hit the UK market in a bid to win the sugar loving hearts of the British public, but UK consumers are difficult to convince. Despite most Stevia sweetened alternatives performing well, the absence of any sugar whatsoever was producing on the whole, insipid, flavourless soft-drinks with a liquorice type aftertaste.
Many factors are relevant when starting a new soft-drink such as who your audience is and how to communicate with them, but anyone who has entered the industry will tell you; consumers buy for health but return for taste.
Consumers can only be fooled once by fancy marketing, if it’s not tasty consumers will vote with their feet and leave you behind. In the wake of the sugar tax, retailers adapted few methods of sweetening, but few accurately did the job of our beloved sugar.
“In the two years since, healthy soft drink launches are far more commonplace. The notion of sweetening drinks with sugar is well in the past, consumers are now demanding low-sugar healthier options which have some beneficial properties, as opposed to being given no choice, but they HAVE to taste good.”
Consumers now believe that naturally occurring sugar found in fruit is less harmful to our health than other chemical alternatives such as aspartame – plus they manage to maintain the chief principle that taste is the most important factor.
Natural fruit juice maintains the integrity of the drink whilst also keeping it low-sugar and pleasant tasting.
At Brand Relations we thoroughly research your conceptual idea to discover what sweetening agent might work best with your product, though generally we prefer to use fruit juice in order to maintain flavour integrity. Our sources have informed us that going forward brands will only be permitted 4.5g per 100ml if they would like to advertise their drinks – which for new companies, can be essential in gaining brand awareness.
Whether it be stevia, natural fruit juice, xylitol, erythritol, yacon or any another, we can help you to refine which would be most effective for your product. Having done plenty of analysis in this region, we know exactly what wholesalers, retailers and consumers look for in new soft drink offerings.