Stevia-Sweetened Alcoholic Drinks
Finnish drinks company Hartwall, part of international drinks giant Heineken, has introduced the European Union’s first stevia-sweetened alcoholic drink. Original Cool Grape Cranberry drink, targeted at women and young adults, adds to the brand’s successful non-alcoholic range of stevia-sweetened drinks.
“Both positive consumer feedback and sales results indicate that this is an emerging category that combines two important criteria – naturalness and lightness,” says Hartwall marketing director Ann-Mari Hämäläinen. “We will invest even more strongly in the stevia category in 2013.”
Plant-based sugar substitute stevia is up to 300 times sweeter than sugar and contains zero calories, making it an ideal ingredient for the low-calorie drinks market. International soft drinks giant Coca-Cola reformulated its range of Glacéau Vitamin Water drinks to include a stevia-based sweetener in February 2013, cutting sugar levels by 30%, while competitor PepsiCo also launched a stevia-sweetened version of Tropicana juice, Trop50, which contains 50% less sugar and calories than regular juice. Read more about stevia’s market potential in The Truvia Voyage of Discovery.
The growth of the health and wellness beverage market (valued globally at $274bn in 2011) is set to outperform the soft and hot drinks industry from 2012-16, according to research published by London-based market research firm Euromonitor. Read more about the new beverage brands that claim to aid nutrition and wellbeing in our coverage from last year’s Food & Drink Expo conference.