Britvic and PepsiCo 'win race' to launch UK soft drinks with stevia

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Sugar, Sugar substitute, Soft drink

Picture Copyright: Britvic
Picture Copyright: Britvic
PepsiCo UK and Britvic claim to have 'won the race' to launch the first UK soft drink containing stevia extract by formulating the high intensity sweetener within a functional water range from the end of April.

The firms will relaunch SoBe V Water with purified Stevia extract, and they said that the vitamin water drink – aimed at health-conscious consumers – met rising demand for low-calorie beverages.

All six SoBe V Water variants will include purified Stevia extract, bringing the sugar content of the range from 20g to zero and the calorie count from 85 to just 10 or less per bottle. 

New brand credentials

Pack designs have also been redesigned to communicate zero sugar and low-calorie credentials, while offering greater shelf stand out, with bottles on retail sale supported by advertising, social media and in-store activity.

PepsiCo UK marketing director, Amanda Thomson, said: “SoBe V Water with purified stevia extract has been a great hit in the US and we’re excited to launch a version for the UK market and deliver a wider choice in healthier drinks for UK consumers.

“Stevia delivers a great naturally sweet taste without the calories of sugar – our research found that purchase, taste and overall appeal of the drink are just as high with Stevia extract included instead of sugar.”

She added: “The stevia innovation drove volume by 73% when it was launched in the US and we look forward to seeing it on the shelves here in the UK."

‘Accelerated development’

Jon Evans, head of seed brands at Britvic Soft Drinks, said: “The introduction of purified stevia extract demonstrates our ongoing commitment to giving health-conscious consumers more choice.

“We have accelerated the development of our Stevia product in order to be first to market in the UK because this is a major innovation for soft drinks and allows us to offer consumers great taste with no sugar.

Britvic and PepsiCo said that they would use purified Stevia extract alongside its existing range of sweeteners to “balance health, hydration and enjoyment” ​for consumers.

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