The one shot drinks, which contain the same amount of active ingredient nitrate as the firm's larger packs, have been on sale in selected Holland & Barrett stores since July, said Lawrence Mallinson, md of brand owner James White Drinks.
“Our launch was held up due to production issues that we are still only just getting on top of. However we did finally start selling in July and it is going very well, though production issues have held us back from pushing on faster into too many outlets.
“We have secured listings with other retailers [set to launch in October] but because of the production issues we are taking it slowly.
“But we should be on top of all this by mid-September when I hope things should move up a significant gear. I am reluctant to list names [of new customers] until we have actually gone ahead but they include major chemist chains as well as major supermarkets and health food shops.”
Mallinson, who has been working with academics at St Bartholomew's Hospital to explore the cardiovascular benefits of beetroot juice, changed the name of his product from ‘Heartbeet’ to ‘Beet It’ last year as the original name would have been regarded as an implied health claim under the EU health claims Regulation.
Unlike some other blood pressure reduction products, which contain dairy peptides, beetroot juice is naturally rich in nitrates, which bacteria in the mouth convert to nitrite.
The nitrite is then converted into nitric oxide, which acts like a natural aspirin to prevent blood clots, protect the lining of the blood vessels and lower blood pressure, claimed Mallinson.
Mallinson said sales of the juice had recently been boosted after a study revealed nitrates in it could improve stamina for athletes and boost oxygen usage efficiency. “We see sports nutrition as a target market.”
The Beet It shots were taken by the UK athletics team to the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona at the end of July, revealed Mallinson.
“We would like to think this contributed to their considerable success!”