The makers of market leading energy drink Red Bull have introduced a sugar-free version to the UK market this month. The company claims it is the first global energy drink brand to address the growing consumer demand for diet beverages.
Red Bull Sugarfree contains the sweeteners Aspartame (NutraSweet) and Acesulfam K, both widely used as sugar substitutes in many foodstuffs, to replace the normal sugar content in original Red Bull. A can of Red Bull Sugarfree is said to contain only 8 calories.
The company is clearly seeking to tap into demand for sugar-free drinks, and claims that 33 per cent of all soft-drink products currently consumed in the US are of the sugar-free/diet variety.
Despite a flood of new products on the European market in recent years, Red Bull is still Europe's leading energy drink brand by far, and according to a recent report by Zenith International, it has an overall 66 per cent volume share in Western Europe. The brand is present in 13 western European countries and held the leading position in 12 of these.
Like the original, Red Bull Sugarfree is billed as a functional product to be consumed in times of increased stress and strain. It is said to increase performance, improve reaction speed and concentration, increase alertness and stimulate metabolism.
After its launch on the UK market, currently Europe's biggest energy drinks market, Red Bull Sugarfree will be launched globally during 2003.