This week sees the start of the new school term for most young children in the UK – the end of the children’s holiday and the start of the parent’s holiday as I’ve heard it described recently! As a parent of young children I’m certainly glad to get back to the routine of school.
At One this summer we’ve spent a lot of time looking at potential new product ideas to grow the range of One drinks – trying to anticipate the next big trend in soft drinks and ensure we develop drinks that will appeal to our loyal, life-changing customers. For any business, a new product launch is a time of excitement and trepidation, but for us it’s a more than that, because if a new product sells well, it has a truly life-changing impact.
One of the topics regularly discussed in the office is something which I’m also very aware of as a parent: the need to reduce our intake of sugar. Whether or not the widely debated sugar tax ever comes into effect, its mere anticipation has already had a massive impact on the soft drinks market and it’s at the front of our minds at One as we look to expand our range.
Many drinks brands are reducing the levels of sugar, and in particular added sugars, to get below the magic 5g per 100ml and avoid the tax altogether, and many are using other types of sweeteners to do so.
At One, we offer our customers socially conscious, healthy hydration. We create quality drinks that truly make a difference in the world. While minimising costs, we maximise our donation to change lives on the other side of the world through provision of clean water projects. It’s what makes us unique.
I like to think our approach to drink formulation is as genuine as our proposition. For some drinks, naturally occurring sugars are… well… natural. In my view it’s better to create a natural drink than to unnaturally reduce the sugars.
For some drinks, alternative sweeteners are appropriate – and there are plenty to choose from, both natural and artificial. And while there are some who will lambast artificial sweeteners, many have been around for decades and in most cases there’s no evidence to suggest they’re unhealthy as part of a balanced diet.
For our sugar free flavoured water, we use sweeteners to offer great tasting drinks with only 5 cals per bottle. In independent taste tests, they win in terms of overall preference vs the market leader.
For our juice based drinks we take the natural approach. Juice drinks, unlike pure fruit juices, have added ingredients. Water will always form a large proportion of these drinks, but sugar or sweeteners are often used to replace the flavour that’s been removed by reducing the juice content to typically around 15%. This often results in a higher sugar content than you might expect. In fact some of the leading brands contain added sugar resulting in total sugars of over 8g per 100ml – high enough to place them into the proposed high tax bracket on sugar, along with market leading fizzy drinks!
We believe juiced water should be exactly that: juice and water. Ours are just 50% juice, water and some natural flavourings. Which means they’re lower in sugar (half in fact) and more refreshing than pure fruit juice. Fruit juice contains sugar naturally, so why reduce the amount of juice so that sugar or sweetener is required?
Of course I’m biased, but they are great tasting too; 100% natural; and naturally lower in sugar – the perfect alternative to juice. As a treat, my kids sometimes drink them with their breakfast – oh, and they make great ice pops!
As for where our new plans take us, you can expect very low sugar, you can expect 100% natural and you can expect some surprises. I’ll say no more at this point, but I look forward to revealing more in the coming months…