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Health debates will help small drinks David win Goliath’s sales

By Nicholas Robinson+

03-Apr-2014
Last updated on 03-Apr-2014 at 15:20 GMT

The sugar debate had created a 'perfect storm' for small firms to respond to with low-sugar or sugar-free products, said Tim Chater

The sugar debate had created a 'perfect storm' for small firms to respond to with low-sugar or sugar-free products, said Tim Chater

Small drinks companies will use debates on health, such as that on added sugar, to challenge larger players like Coca-Cola, says the co-founder of a new soft drinks firm.

Entrepreneurs and small businesses should use arguments about added sugar to develop new, low-sugar and sugar-free products to lure consumers concerned about sugar consumption, Future Drinks co-founder Tim Chater said.

Chater recently launched Koji, a sparkling soft drink aimed at adults, in response to a “growing demand for healthier adult-style refreshments”, he said.

“Healthy products are set to drive growth in the soft drinks category,” he added. Of the 5.5bn litres of soft drinks sold last year, interest in adult soft drinks had risen by 4% on last year, with sales totalling £163M, said Chater. This is where the sugar debate would help drive sales, he added.

‘Sugar issue it great’

“The sugar issue is great for us because it raises the issue of how much sugar we’re consuming. As more people become aware of what they put in their bodies, they will start looking for alternatives.”

The sugar debate had created a “perfect storm” for small firms to respond to with low-sugar or sugar-free products, he said.

In March the World Health Organisation kept its 2002 recommendation that added sugars should account for no more than 10% of total energy. However, it added that reducing sugar consumption to 5% would be beneficial to consumers. 

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