A Fhirst for life: Gut-loving living sodas launch in Ireland
Each can in this innovative new range is packed with 2 billion living probiotic cultures, microencapsulated for stability and allowing for controlled release in the gut
13 November 2023
Next gen soda, Fhirst, has announced its launch into the Irish market, with listings confirmed in independent health stores across the country including Here’s Health, Health Matters, Horans, Nourish, and via WHSmith Travel in Dublin, Shannon and Cork airports.
A ‘Fhirst’ of its kind, the up-and-coming soda brand is set to revolutionise functional beverages and beyond with its range of all-natural, zero-sugar or sweetener living sodas, which contain probiotics and prebiotics, plus added zinc.
The brand is on a mission to deliver great-tasting, guilt free sodas that promote gut, immune and brain health. Each can is packed with 2 billion living probiotic cultures, microencapsulated* for stability and allowing for controlled release in the gut, and also contains 5g prebiotic plant fibre and added zinc. Not only that, Fhirst has zero sugar, artificial ingredients or sweeteners.
The three-strong launch line-up comprises three delicious flavours – Cherry Vanilla, Ginger Mandarin and Passion Fruit with a RRP of €2.49 per 330ml can. Featuring distinctive, contemporary packaging, Fhirst’s unique proposition is aimed at health aware consumers, who have a Fhirst for life and are seeking the very best in healthy, functional beverages.
Why is Fhirst different to other ‘gut healthy’ drinks? To date, gut loving drinks have mainly been made up of fermented drinks (such as kombuchas, kefirs and cider vinegar) and functional sodas (typically prebiotic sodas). Fhirst combines the best of both worlds, offering above and beyond when it comes to both health credentials and taste experience.
No other brand has been able to create a shelf-stable soda capable of containing both probiotics and prebiotics, as well as having zero sugar or sweeteners. Fhirst’s extensive microbiological testing has shown that the gut health benefits in each can are as strong at the end of the products’ shelf life as on day one**, and that’s whether they’re kept chilled or ambient.
Fhirst’s sweetness comes from an infusion of natural stevia leaves, not to be confused with the chemical sweetener ‘stevia’ (stevia extract or steviolglycoside) which is physically and chemically altered and processed. Aside from water and stevia leaves, no further extraction with ethanol, methanol or the like take place, nor are any other substances ‘used to process’ the product. The infusion gives Fhirst a natural sweet ‘kiss’.
Fhirst founder, Steven Van Middelem (also founder of D-Drinks), has both worked in the beverage industry for over 20 years, and has a passion for making best-in-class, healthier beverages with a sustainable impact: “The global pandemic encouraged us all to think again about our health and immunity. 80% of our immune system lies in our gut, and gut health has been linked to the health of many other organs, including the heart and the brain.
“We wanted to create a drink to help support immunity, brain health and overall gut health without compromising on taste, and most importantly without the sugars or sweeteners. It’s soda with benefits. We’re on a mission to help people make healthier choices, and we’re beyond excited to be bringing next gen soda to Irish consumers,” he added.
As well as helping educate on the importance of gut health and evolve our drinking habits, Fhirst is committed to investing in nature’s biodiversity in the shape of Planet Fhirst, pledging 1% of turnover to biodiversity and green infrastructure projects via a partnership with SUGi. Fhirst funds will be used to boost the powerful web of 100% biodiverse native forests.
For more information, follow Fhirst @drinkfhirst.
*(Source: Microencapsulation ensures that Fhirst’s health benefits are as stable and strong at the end of its shelf life, as they are on day one)
**(The cans have a 365-day shelf life)