Coca-Cola turns to baobab in new low calorie soft drink brand

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Aquarius Vive
Aquarius Vive
Coca-Cola has launched a soft drink which counts baobab extract among its ingredients: a beverage that could be rolled out globally in the future. 

The Aquarius Vive brand has been developed for the Spanish market, where it was launched last month. Aquarius Vive includes zinc, vitamin B3 and baobab extract; and is marketed as a low calorie beverage.

Baobab is an ingredient that comes from the African baobab tree, commonly known as the ‘tree of life’ or ‘bottle tree’ as it can live for 4,000 years and contains thousands of liters of water.

Interest in the exotic African ‘superfruit’ has been growing in recent years, including as an ingredient for beverages such as flavored waters, smoothies, juices and sparkling beverages.

The Aquarius Vive brand promotes the inclusion of baobab extract on the front of the can. Although baobab fans tout the nutritional properties of the ingredient, a Coca-Cola spokesperson told BeverageDaily that the brand is focusing on the exotic and refreshing aspects in the brand.

“We wanted to have an exotic ingredient which could give new news in the product proposition, a differentiation versus other beverages in market, and finish up our positioning as a beverage which fits in healthy and active lifestyle for everyone.”

The Aquarius sports drink brand was launched in 1992, followed by Aquarius Zero.

Aquarius Vive, which is the first to use baobab extract and took two years to develop, comes in two flavors: Lema Limon and Tropical.

Coca-Cola says that, depending on the reception in Spain, Aquarius Vive could be rolled out to other markets globally.   

Baobab

dennisvdw istock baobab beveragedaily
Baobab trees. Pic:iStock/dennisvdw

The baobab tree is native to Africa, and a key part of local cultures. Baobab fruit comes from the giant green pods of the tree, and is valued for its nutritional and medicinal properties.

The baobab fruit contains pulp with six times more vitamin C than an orange and 50% more calcium than spinach, according to National Geographic.

In the US, Suja Juice​ has turned to Baobab pulp powder as an ingredient in its ‘Blutrients’ and ‘Berryoxidant’ drinks.

In the UK, innocent’s​ ‘Gorgeous Green Smoothie’ includes baobab extract.

Whitley Neill​ uses baobab as one of its nine African botanicals in its premium London Dry gin.

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