Coca-Cola to test functional citrus drinks

Related tags Soft drinks Coca-cola

Opportunities are flourishing for flavour suppliers targeting
health-positioned drinks as number one soft drinks firm Coca-Cola
says it will push R&D investment in health positioned products.

The US firm told a conference last week that it will test a new citrus-flavoured soda called Vault.

The new product will be designed to rival PepsiCo Inc.'s Mountain Dew product.

In addition, Don Knauss, head of Coca-Cola's North American operations, said the firm is looking into developing the idea of fortifying soft drinks with vitamins and other health benefits.

The Holy Grail for improved sales, food and drinks firms are leaping to formulate products that meet growing consumer concerns over health.

In 2003, sales of functional foods and drinks were estimated to be over six times the value of those in 1998.

Beverages run first in the €5.5 billion global flavours market with an approximate 30 per cent slice of the market in western Europe alone.

But the soft drinks industry has been recently hit by a consumer shift away from sugary carbonated beverages towards healthier options, such as fruit juices and bottled water.

Making up for lost market share the soft drinks makers need to respond by diversifying their core brands. Confirming the growing appeal of citrus flavours, soft drinks giant Coca Cola recently launched a lime-flavoured version of its flagship beverage.

In the past two years lemon was the most popular flavour, but this is now changing to cold-pressed lime, says Scott May, global product manager citrus at Quest International.

"Growth from the flavour icon perspective is lime, as well as other flavours that are refreshing,"​ he told recently.

At the beginning of the year, Quest launched a new Citrusense range with 'real, authentic flavour profiles' onto the global market based on cold-processed ingredients.

Cold-pressed citrus fruit oils are more aromatic than their distilled equivalents but they are very unstable. May claims the new range "can deliver the aromatic profile with up front notes while at the same time providing stability for the flavour in applications."

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