Wild develops low-GI beverage solution

By Chris Mercer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Glycaemic index Glycemic index

Natural flavours firm Wild says it has developed a new soft drink
aimed specifically at the growing low glycaemic index market, in a
sign GI is pushing its way into healthy drinks trends.

Wild said scientific tests on its new drink had revealed a glycaemic index (GI) of 40, giving it a 'low' positioning on the scale.

The Germany-based flavours group said it made the drink, called Low GI Near Water, using its Fruit Up natural fruit sweetener alongside natural fruit carbohydrates to provide a low GI energy source.

It also added clear and tasteless water-soluble fibre to help consumers fend off hunger for longer.

Wild said it developed the product in answer to growing consumer demand for low-GI products. The trend has so far focused mainly on foods, but Wild believes it is only natural for this to spread to drinks too.

The glycaemic index measures how quickly certain foods release carbohydrates into the body, which then raise consumers' blood glucose levels. High GI foods cause blood sugar levels to rise more rapidly.

Scientific evidence has increased to show low-GI foods can help control weight and more certainly, help reduce the risk of diabetes and related conditions by raising blood sugar more steadily. Some health professionals and even food retailers have hailed the GI system as a more sensible version of the low-carb Atkins diet.

Wild has positioned its new drink, which contains 24 calories per 100ml, as "the ideal thirst quencher for the health-conscious consumer"​.

There were more than 60 low-GI food and drink launches in the first half of this year, compared to 72 for the whole of 2004, according to Mintel's​ Global New Product Database.

The majority of these were launched in Australia - 30 per cent, or 19 out of a total of 63. But 13 new, low-GI products entered the UK market, up from only five last year, and nine were launched in the US.

Some drinks already have a low-GI rating, classified as 55 or under. For example, a table by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition gave unsweetened apple juice a 40 and Berri's canned, no added sugar tomato juice 38. Certain unsweetened pineapple and grapefruit juices also got 40s ratings.

Sports drinks generally top the ratings in beverages, with PepsiCo's Gatorade coming in at an average 78 and Lucozade Original getting an average 95. Coca-Cola generally gets between 60 and 63.

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