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Drinking to health


Some unusual drinks launches are highlighted by a Chilli-flavoured cola, a cactus juice and an artichoke and strawberry-flavoured drink, emphasising the demands of the ever-adventurous and health-conscious Asian.

Markets such as Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong and, increasingly, China have often been the focus for unusual or innovative food and drink launches, and this week's offering from Mintel's GNPD database are no exception. With Asia currently the driving force behind the growth of global soft drink sales, many manufacturers are now trying to tap into niche markets as a means of sustaining growth.

According to a report from market reports provider Zenith, Asia held the top five slots for growth in global soft drinks market last year. Over the course of the next few years Zenith adds that Asia should sustain a growth rate of 7 to 8 per cent and is expected to overtake the United States as the region with the biggest consumption of soft drinks, accounting for a 25 per cent share of a global market that that will top 550 billion litres a year.

One of the most eye-catching launches is from Singapore, where Margaret River Beverages of Australia is marketing Chilli Cola With Lime. Coming in a traditional glass bottle with a metal screw top, the drink is described as 'really hot', which should appeal to the spice-seeking tastes of that region. Made from natural ingredients the product will retail at €1.40 for 330ml.

In Vietnam Dat Viet is launching an artichoke and strawberry flavoured instant drink under the Effe brand name. Packaged in a paper carton and retailing at €1.51 for 400ml, the drink is fortified with vitamin C, emphasising the manufacturer's aim to target the health market. Dat Viet claims the drink has sedative properties, as well as aiding lower blood pressure and fighting hardened blood vessels. Artichoke is also said to have skin-cleaning and anti-aging properties.

Following up on the health theme is the launch of Guanjian Cactus Products' Ecotypic juice for the China market. Bottled in PET plastic with a shrink sleeve, 500ml of this cactus juice-based beverage with a mint flavouring will retail at €0.36. It contains purified water, honey and added vitamin C.

Also in China Huanchenshi Tecks is launching Bing Dong vitamin water. This is a lemon-flavoured water that aims to meet the needs of sporty and active people with its multi-vitamin B and C fortification. Containing apple juice, honey and citric acid it retails at €0.41 for a 600ml bottle.

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