The sweetest cut

Due to the increased centrality of health and wellbeing for many shoppers in their daily lives, no and reduced sugar options which still offer great taste have become essential


Brand Central

19 March 2021 | 0

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With health and wellbeing playing an important role in consumers’ lives, many brands been keen to  embrace the no/low sugar trend. Before the outbreak of Covid-19, Euromonitor research found that rising health consciousness negatively impacted overall demand for sugar confectionery in Ireland. This has continued to impact consumers’ purchasing habits throughout lockdown, with many becoming more conscious of ingredients than ever before.

This trend is nothing new in Ireland, however. Over the years, consumer interest in no and reduced sugar options has soared in popularity. Retailers nationwide have been proactive in catering to this demand, and today sugar-free snacking and mealtimes are easier and more affordable than ever before.

The Sugar Sweetened Drinks Tax (SSDT) came into effect on 1 May 2018 and applied to water and juice based drinks. The scope of the tax was extended with effect from 1 January 2019 to include certain plant protein drinks and drinks containing milk fats. However, even before the tax began, many drinks manufacturers were proactive in reformulating drinks to meet consumer demand for healthier, reduced sugar options as well as smaller portion sizes.

Indescribable unique experience

Coca-Cola has partnered with ‘Tyler, The Creator’ on the new ‘Open That Coca-Cola’ campaign to express the brand’s unique refreshment through music

The unique, refreshing taste of Coca-Cola has been uplifting the world for generations. It’s an experience that only enjoying a Coca-Cola can offer, yet one that’s nearly impossible to describe in words.

A study conducted by YouGov revealed that people are lost for words when it comes to describing their favourite moments in life, with 66% of all Irish adults believing the best experiences are difficult to explain with words. One of those being enjoying life’s simple pleasure of drinking a Coca-Cola. 51% of people found it impossible to put into words the unique feelings experienced when drinking a Coke. Three in four (74%) young adults (18–24-year-olds) can’t compare the taste or experience of drinking a Coke with any other experience in the world. 62% of 18–34-year-olds said that for them, the experience of drinking Coca-Cola goes beyond just taste.

An evolved Coca-Cola Zero Sugar offers consumers not only a great taste, but a sleek, brand-new Coca-Cola Zero Sugar packaging design

That’s why, in 2021, Coca-Cola is celebrating the Coke experience, whether it’s enjoying a Coca-Cola Original Taste, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar or any of its flavour variants, by giving new drinkers a way to describe this beyond-words experience.

A brand-new campaign, ‘Open That Coca-Cola’, brings to life the first sip of Coca-Cola and the expressions we use to convey the refreshing great taste and experience of upliftment and enjoyment when drinking it, like ‘Ahhhh!’, ‘Oooh!’ and ‘Yeah!’.

To encapsulate that indefinable feeling, Coca-Cola has found a perfect partner in ‘Tyler, The Creator’. A long-time fan of the brand, this visionary artist has expressed the Coca-Cola experience in the way he knows best: through music.

Tyler has created an exclusive track featured in the campaign, available on all streaming platforms from 5 March.

An exciting dance, the ‘Coca-Cola Kick-Shuffle’, will also be revealed by an iconic global social star known for her moves, in the coming weeks.

As an extension of the campaign and rolling out across European markets over the coming months, an evolved Coca-Cola Zero Sugar will be launched, offering consumers not only a great taste, but a sleek, brand-new Coca-Cola Zero Sugar packaging design, enhancing consumers Coke experience even further.

In Ireland, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar is the number one light sugar cola, and the fastest growing with three out of four households purchasing the brand throughout 2020.

Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Diet Coke will also be available from the end of March in a new 1l-pack size, in response to the growing trend of small basket shopping trips.

Coca-Cola HBC will activate a full campaign to drive frequency and trial year-round, appealing to young adults and families. The campaign will include above-the-line marketing investment with bursts of support around key brand moments such as the Euros, summer, and Christmas.

Big citrus taste, no artificials

At Danone, the brand doesn’t believe you should have to choose between enjoying a refreshing, tasty fizzy drink and being health conscious – why can’t you have both? That’s why Danone created L’mon – to give consumers a delicious, low sugar alternative without compromising on taste.

L’mon, from the makers of Volvic, is a new range of zesty sparkling drinks, made in the UK, that combine sumptuous citrus blends, with at least 25% real fruit juice and British spring water.

Each 330ml can of L’mon delivers the taste experience of a soft drink but without the nasties, with less than 38 calories per can.

All Danone’s products are low in natural sugars, with no added sugar*, free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives and only use naturally sourced ingredients.

L’mon is available in three citrusy variants: Lemon & Orange,  Lemon & Lime, and Lemon & Grapefruit

When tested with consumers, L’mon scored ‘Outstanding’ as a product proposition and sits at the top 20% of non-alcoholic-beverages in terms of purchase intent.**

Adding L’mon to your product repertoire can help you to meet consumer demand for tasty and healthier beverages, while it will boost your category growth.

The brand’s website provides information on ingredients and nutritionals, and has answers to many questions that consumers usually have.

*(Contains naturally occurring sugars from the fruit juice)

**(Source: Bases research September 2020)

Ireland’s original kombucha brewery

The SynerChi kombucha range is vegan friendly, low in calories and naturally free from dairy, gluten and soy

Produced in Gweedore, Donegal, SynerChi is craft-brewed using 100% natural, organic ingredients using unique micro-brewing craftsmanship to produce authentic live kombucha.

Carefully blended with the finest organic teas and tisanes, creating the perfect synergy of natural ingredients, the latest canned range of SynerChi is packed full of live cultures and naturally occurring enzymes, which helps detox the body, supports gut health and aids digestion.

Vegan friendly, low in calories and naturally free from dairy, gluten and soy, your customers can find their inner-chi with the latest canned range of Synerchi kombucha including; SynerChi Apple & Elderflower Presse, SynerChi Traditional Cola Flavour and SynerChi Ginger & Turmeric Lemonade Flavour.

SynerChi is Ireland’s original kombucha brewery, founded by Laura Murphy who is the team’s brew master. Securing investment from Raymond Coyle of Tayto Park, formerly of Largo Foods, SynerChi is situated in a custom state-of-the-art, grade A++ facility in Gweedore, Co. Donegal, where the team supports 20 local jobs in the community, creating, producing and packaging all products on site.

The new SynerChi Kombucha canned range has long-aged the brew in order to maximise the beneficial acids and ferment all the sugar. The culture (SCOBY) consumes the sugar during the fermentation, so that consumers can enjoy a healthier, sugar free kombucha.

Appreciated worldwide

Formulated to vitalise body and mind, Red Bull serves the no sugar category trend with Red Bull Zero and Red Bull Sugar Free. Re-launched with a new taste into the Irish market in 2020, Red Bull Zero is now similar in taste to the classic Red Bull Energy Drink, allowing fans to enjoy a zero sugar product with a different taste to Red Bull Sugarfree.

Offering the same ‘wiiings’ as the Red Bull Energy Drink, Red Bull Zero and Red Bull Sugar Free drinks are appreciated worldwide by top athletes, students and in highly demanding professions as well as during long drives.

Both drinks are available in 250ml cans with Red Bull Sugar Free available in four-can multipacks.

Visit to learn more.

Endless versatility

Porter & Nash’s range of plant-based sauces were created by Gavin Cassidy and Eoin Lennon, both professional chefs with over 50 years combined experience in the food industry including training at two-star Michelin level. “We met while topping up our qualifications with a culinary arts degree in TU Dublin Tallaght and developed a range of plant-based gravy and sauces made with roasted root vegetables and Irish sea kelp,” the duo tell ShelfLife. Porter & Nash’s range is made with a gluten-free recipe, with no fat, low salt and low sugar; the sauces taste and look like meat-based sauces but are entirely plant-based.

Porter & Nash’s range of products can be used as a cooking sauce or a pouring sauce for finishing roast dinners, their versatility is endless they can be used as a base for soups, Asian broths, casseroles, stews or to complement beef, pork, chicken, fish and vegetable dishes.

Educating children’s tastes buds and knowing how to utilise healthy, nutritious food products in family meals can be difficult for parents. With that in mind, Porter & Nash has created a cookbook showing how to incorporate the duo’s sauces into delicious dishes for all the family; you can find it on the website

A touch of pink

The new limited edition Strawberry & White Choc Coco Pops turns milk pink

Cereal giant, Kellogg’s, has introduced new Strawberry & White Choc Coco Pops. A limited-edition version of classic Coco Pops, the new option combines the flavours of smooth white chocolate and juicy strawberries.

With 30% less sugar than other chocolate flavoured cereals, Strawberry & White Choc Coco Pops turns milk pink, guaranteed to add a splash of colour and joy to your shoppers’ breakfast.

The new addition follows the successful release of White Choc Coco Pops in 2019, with more than three million boxes flying off shelves in the first six months alone.

The limited-edition cereal with a RRP of €4.29 (480g) has been available from all major supermarkets since 12 February, for 12 months only.

The new addition contains no artificial colours or flavours.

It took over 50 recipe trials before we achieved the tastiest mix of strawberry and white chocolate that turned milk the perfect pink,” Neil Rogers, brand & activation manager Kellogg’s Ireland, said of the new creation.

‘’White Choc Coco Pops was the biggest new cereal launch of 2019,” he added, “so we’re hoping Coco Pops fans will be just as excited to try the new flavour. We’re sure kids and grown-ups alike will enjoy bringing a bit of pink to their breakfast.”

In 2017, Kellogg’s reduced sugar in Original Coco Pops by 40% to help families make healthier choices in the morning.

Premium Asian experience at home

The Fused range contains zero refined sugar in 18 of its 19 products

Fused by Fiona Uyema has torn up the rule book on commercial Asian cookery sauces. The award-winning Irish brand has successfully premiumised the space, tapping into the no-sugar trend while putting flavour and quality at its heart.

A serious disruptor, Fused is leading the way with tasty flavours and natural ingredients free from refined sugar, artificial colours, additives, preservatives and MSG. Unsurprisingly therefore, the brand’s market share is growing year-on-year.

With zero refined sugar in 18 of its 19 products, Fused has been created by Fiona to reflect the delicious and natural flavours she enjoyed while living in Asia. The brand is confident that if you compare Fused’s Chinese range of sauces – Chow Mein, Black Bean and Chinese Curry – with other brands, you’ll understand their success. Zero refined sugar and reassuringly natural ingredients feature in sharp contrast to leading commercial brands where sugar and water dominate as key ingredients.

The exciting range has a 12-month shelf life, and includes stir-fry sauce pouches, infused soy sauces, organic coconut milk, curry pastes and a collection of ready-to-use ingredients. Fused is different and consumers trust the brand to deliver a premium Asian experience at home that’s reliably wholesome, natural and delicious.







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