The two drinks are Gusto Organic Real Cola and Gusto Naturally Slim Cola and according to William Fugard, MD, Gusto Organic, they are the only organic, lower calorie Fairtrade cola in Europe.
France & Benelux
“Sales indicate we are more than on to something since we showcased our drinks in May and we look forward to launching three Fairtrade and organic citrus variants in December 2017,” he said.
The drinks which are made in Devon in the UK with spring water from Exmoor hit major wholesales in July with listings including Whole Foods Market stores, Ocado and restaurant chains such as The Natural Kitchen.
Significant growth in France and Benelux has been driven with an exclusive distribution deal signed with D Drinks who are based in Holland and Belgium.
“As an organic business the pressure on calorie reduction remains a significant challenge, we only have one natural sweetener permitted by EU organic regulators - organic erythritol, and that is only permitted at 16g per litre by the EU giving a realistic calorie reduction of 16-20%,” said Fugard.
“We use organic stevia (certified by Ceres in Germany) however the EU has arbitrarily chosen not to allow organic certified stevia in organic products. So our Naturally Slim Cola cannot be certified organic even though more than 95% of its ingredients are.
“There is no level playing field in this debate and the rush by non-organic brands to fill drinks with artificial sweeteners is, I believe, the next health time bomb that future generations will consider as baffling and ludicrous as government advice to eat margarine instead of butter in the 70s and 80s.
“On a personal note, I'd rather my children had the occasional calorific drink than gallons of aspartame filled squashes and cordials masquerading as the healthier beverage option.”
Fairtrade Bourbon vanilla
Gusto Organic Real Cola and Gusto Naturally Slim Cola Both colas are Fairtrade certified and are a blend of organic spices and essential oils with cola nut from the rainforests of Africa, Fairtrade Bourbon vanilla from Madagascar and sweetened with Fairtrade and organic blue agave from Jalisco in Mexico.
The packaging is created by Q&A design studio in Hastings, UK.
Fugard said the company’s Fairtrade agave project pays over twice the minimum agricultural wage in the region and supports gender equality and local indigenous peoples.
“We have reduced the calories in our organic Real Cola by 20% with a light touch of organic erythritol - (only permitted in organic beverages in Europe December 2016) and have reduced calories further in our Naturally Slim cola with a blend of organic stevia, erythritol and blue agave,” he said.
“They’re two superb and luxurious tasting colas delivering a complex and delicious cola taste that are free from artificial sweeteners, phosphoric acid and refined sugar.
“Our craft, ethical and organic take on carbonates is finding a niche in the beverages category. It’s an exciting time for us and we are experiencing phenomenal growth.”