Foodex 2018: Sophisticated adult beverages trend, as reduced sugar options sought

636602472936111596kalsoa bright.jpg

25 Apr 2018 --- Foodex 2018, which took place at the NEC in Birmingham, UK last week, featured some of the trendiest innovations in British food and drink solutions. FoodIngredientsFirst attended the event which was strong in sophisticated adult soft drinks boasting intriguing flavors and concepts. With the UK sugar tax having just come into force, there was an impressive display of low sugar, adult soft drinks that come with health claims and fruitful flavors.

Trending natural ingredients included the use of honey and natural sweeteners. Fermented beverages such as kombucha were particularly favorite, along with variations other functional beverages using ingredients like cucumber and coconut. Sparkling presses and juices containing only natural sugars and flavors old and new, including cloudy lemonades and mango and passionfruit, were also hugely popular.

This year exhibitors shone a light on the most important trends driving innovation across the food and beverage sectors and sophisticated soft drinks stood out. There was a rise in demand for ground-breaking premium adult soft drinks, which can be used as mixers or as non-alcoholic beverages by themselves. Consumption habits in the beverage space are changing more than ever before and millennials continue to lead the way when it comes to healthy consumption, with many exhibitors noting that their innovations come as alcohol consumption is declining as younger generations including millennials and Generation Z-ers look for high-end, clean label alternatives.
Click to Enlarge
Artesian Water; bottled at the source in the
Rainforest at Campos Lapa Verde, Costa Rica
Innova Market Insights’ identified “Lighter Enjoyment” as its #2 trend for 2018. The trend centers on consumers continuing to look for ways to eat and drink more healthily, lightness regarding alcohol content, sweetness, flavor, although not at the expense of a familiar, high quality and indulgent taste profile.

FoodIngredientsFirst takes a look at some of the innovations on the show floor.

Lifestyle Drinks GmbH is Germany's specialist for lifestyle and functional premium drinks. At this year's show, the company where exhibiting their launches for the UK market. The first product is the company’s Artesian Water; bottled at the source in the Rainforest at Campos Lapa Verde, Costa Rica, boasts beautiful and ecological packaging. According to Cas van Loon, International Sales at Lifestyle Drinks: “For every case of Artesian Water the company sells, we plant a tree in the rainforest of Costa Rica, it’s a very sustainable solution to the problems the world is facing and so far we have planted 18,000 trees. We are now just bringing this product to the UK markets, it’s a new concept and we hope that it is a success. As far as the taste goes, the water tastes clean and slightly sweet,” he tells FoodIngredientsFirst. The company was also exhibiting their Ocoo Beauty Drink which combines natural and beauty-boosting ingredients to provide 100 percent of the RDA of vitamins and appearance and health-boosting substances. Van Loon said: “This is a one of a kind product, and was the first beauty drink launched in the world, eight years ago. We are also bringing this to the UK market, as we feel that now is a good time for this market. The Beauty Drink contains fruit nectar which has proven benefits for skin, hair and nails.”
Click to Enlarge
Simon Roberts, Channel Manager, Drink Zeo
Zeo presented their range of botanically brewed sparkling juices. At 33-40 calories per drink, the product range was recently reformulated in response to demand for a lightly sparkling fruit drink with no added sugar. The range now includes four fruit and botanical flavors, including Peach & Grapefruit and Cloudy Lemon. Simon Roberts, Channel Manager, Drink Zeo said: “This range has been formulated with the sugar tax in mind, there is only 2.3g of sugar per 100ml serving, and that is natural sugar. Our beverages are also recommended by Sugar Wise and are diabetic-friendly. They are made with 75 percent spring water and 25 percent fruit juice.”
Click to Enlarge
Folkington’s beverages

Folkington’s is a Sussex-based beverage company which produces fruit juices, drinks and mixers that have unique provenance and authenticity. They are made from pure extracts (never from concentrate) with some being prepared with locally-sourced ingredients from orchards in East Sussex and Kent. Mike Moore, Head of UK Sales and Marketing told FoodIngredientsFirst: “There is now a bigger need for non-alcoholic beverages as consumers are becoming increasingly aware of what they are consuming, so there is a bigger need for these types of sophisticated adult soft drinks and fashions that offer new taste sensations and experiences. All our juices and presses are sourced sustainably, and our traditional flavor such as Cloudy Lemonade and Rhubarb and Apple is very popular with UK-based consumers.”

KÖLD Group is a British drinks company that develops, produces and markets premium alcoholic drinks worldwide under two brands: KÖLD Cocktails and KALOSA. The company was showcasing their premium frozen cocktails made with the finest natural ingredients at this year's show, which is available in three varieties; Frozen Mojito, Cosmopolitan & Lychee Martini. Inspired by the vibrant nightlife and ice bars of Scandinavia, KÖLD adds cool refinement to the classic cocktail. Each cocktail is mixed with the authentic recipe using only pure distilled spirits and the finest natura
Click to Enlarge
KÖLD Group Frozen Cocktails
l ingredients for a genuine, bar-quality result. Kalosa Natural Spritz beverages are specially crafted for the modern drinker looking for an exciting and all-natural alternative to the normal spirit and mixer combo. These lower sugar spritz drinks are ready to serve and have only 99 calories per bottle. The flavors on display were Pink Grapefruit & Vodka and Elderflower and Gin.

Qcumber is a unique and refreshing soft drink, inspired by the idyll of an English summer. The effervescent and individual taste has been created by using a blend of natural cucumber essence and gently sparkling spring water, creating the fresh flavor which is Qcumber. The quality of the water we use is fundamental to the taste of Qcumber. The source of the spring water lies in the old county of Radnorshire in Mid Wales. In this unspoiled rural area, the water can filter naturally through layers of rock to achieve its exceptional taste and purity. Qcumber contains only natural ingredients and is free from artificial sweeteners, colors, preservatives and flavorings. The ingredients are carbonated spring water, natural cucumber extract, beet sugar, citric acid. It has a clean, fresh taste which makes it perfect as a stand-alone adult drink. Only 26 calories per 100ml, Qcumber is great on its own but also ideal as a mixer with Gin and Vodka or with Pimms, according to the company.
Click to Enlarge
GO! Kombucha beverages

GO! Kombucha was exhibiting their handmade, 100 percent raw kombucha tea. GO! Kombucha is the UK’s oldest Kombucha tea brand established in 2003, but its heritage can be traced back to the mid-1990s, on a houseboat moored on the Thames in Teddington, Middlesex. There, the recipe was perfected and finely-tuned over ten years for consumption, until production was stepped up to supply demand from visitors and, eventually, to sell at local fairs and fetes. Then the realization struck that the production could be modestly scaled up to create the UK’s first, 100 percent authentic, Kombucha tea brand. Gary Leigh, the Company Director, told FoodIngredientsFirst: “Consumers are looking for non-alcoholic beverages that mimic alcohol and reduce beverage consumption overall. Kombucha boasts lots of health benefits and it is not taxable after the UK sugar tax came into effect recently. Tea and coffee trends are taking over and our Kombucha tea is bang on trend, raw, authentic and most of all, fermented.”
Click to Enlarge
Coco Fuzion 100 beverages
Coco Fuzion 100, the UK’s first all-natural carbonated coconut water, announced its official UK launch at the beginning of April. With the brand already snowballing in Ireland, Scandinavia and Spain, Coco Fuzion 100 has secured listings in 2,700 UK stores. Coco Fuzion 100 was developed by C7 Brands, one of the UK’s leading independent drinks companies. CEO of C7 Brands Stephen Barton commented on the UK launch and investment plans: “Coconut water is nature’s sports drink, and we want to make its myriad benefits available to all. Consumer demand for coconut water has boomed mainly driven by an AB1 female demographic. Our flavor profile, pack size and investment plans are geared to broaden that audience across all demographics, especially given the opportunity created by the impending sugar tax and coconut water’s unique health benefits.”

Ceiba also presented their range of low-sugar beverages made using real craft brewed cinnamon infusions – not a cinnamon extract or powder. Ceiba makes every batch uniquely different, 100 percent natural and manufactured using the most delicate cinnamon known to man – Sri Lankan Ceylon Cinnamon. It has a great aroma, a crisp flavor and it’s packed full of health benefits. It was even the same cinnamon the Mexican’s used in their teas. Ceiba uses a microbrewery to make the infusion base. Great temperature controls keep the infusion steeped at steady temperatures, drawing out the flavors, and we also pass it through two stages of filtration for a smooth finish. The beverages are available in three different flavors, all including cinnamon: Coconut, Lime & Ginger and Mango & Passionfruit. Ceiba is the first company in the UK to bring the exciting and authentic taste of Sri Lankan Cinnamon in a fruit-based drink to the UK market.

You can view more FoodIngredientsFirst show highlights from FoodEx 2018 here.

By Elizabeth Green

To contact our editorial team please email us at

Related Articles

Business News

French retail merger falls flat? Casino rejects Carrefour tie-up, but Carrefour denies it was ever made

24 Sep 2018 --- Carrefour is reviewing its legal options to stop “unacceptable innuendoes” after fellow French retailer Casino claims that Carrefour made a tie-up approach. The Casino Group has said that it was contacted by Carrefour over the last few days with a view to a possible combination while Carrefour insists the merger proposal does not exist.

Business News

Relief strategy: Almond and cherry subsidies added to Trump’s bailout package for farmers

24 Sep 2018 --- Producers of shelled almonds and fresh sweet cherries will be able to apply for part of a bailout package aimed at mitigating the losses suffered by US farmers in the midst of country’s trade disputes. In July, President Trump pledged a US$12 billion emergency bailout package for producers affected by escalating trade disputes. At the time much, the US Administration said that much of the aid would be directed towards payments to farmers of soybeans, sorghum and wheat, but now it’s been extended to include almonds and cherries.

Food Ingredients News

Plant-based protein growth: Hydrosol’s new stabilizing systems for dairy alternatives

24 Sep 2018 --- Hydrosol is tapping in the growing demand for plant-based proteins with its new stabilizing and texturing systems for a wide spectrum of dairy alternatives that give them properties very close to products made from cow’s milk. These include cultured desserts that contain no milk components, soy or gluten.

Business News

Polyol ambitions: Sunar Misir invests in sorbitol and maltitol capacity

24 Sep 2018 --- Sunar Misir plans to reach an installed capacity of 100,000 tons for its sorbitol and maltitol facility in Adana (Turkey) by the end of 2019. Sunar Mısır has over 33 years of experience with corn-based ingredients and offers sustainably-sourced, Non-GMO starches and starch derivatives for the global market.

Food Ingredients News

Water lentils: Parabel’s tiny plants with huge potential, LENTEIN’s disruptive promise

24 Sep 2018 --- There is much debate in the food industry that centers on the challenge that a fast-growing global population, that is expected to hit 10 billion by 2050, presents. How will we feed everyone? How will climate change impact on agriculture? What crops and food commodities are the most sustainable? These are some of the big questions that the food industry is currently facing. And water lentils, an innovative protein source, is one of the newest and exciting plant proteins that could hold the answer, according to Parabel USA.

More Articles