Coca-Cola extends health drive with no- / low-sugar RTD tea drink range launch

By Lester Wan contact

- Last updated on GMT

The two new variants launched in Coca-Cola's new Authentic Tea House range are the sugar-free Da Hong Pao Oolong Tea and the low-sugar Jin Ban Chrysanthemum Tea.
The two new variants launched in Coca-Cola's new Authentic Tea House range are the sugar-free Da Hong Pao Oolong Tea and the low-sugar Jin Ban Chrysanthemum Tea.

Related tags: Coca-cola company, Beverages, Rtd tea, sugar-reduction, reformulation, New product, tea drinks

Coca-Cola Singapore has launched a new line of low- or no-sugar ready-to-drink (RTD) teas called Authentic Tea House, as the firm continues its focus on reformulating products with lower sugar content.

Currently, the Authentic Tea House range has three variants including the sugar-free Ayataka Japanese Green Tea that has been rebranded from the Heaven and Earth range, which mainly comprised RTD teas that fused fruit flavours with healthy natural ingredients in contemporary expressions.

Sharon Tan, director, public affairs, communications and sustainability, Coca-Cola Singapore and Malaysia, told FoodNavigator-Asia​ that Ayataka Japanese Green Tea is now the biggest unsweetened tea drink in Singapore.

The new Authentic Tea House range, that complements the existing Heaven and Earth RTD tea drink portfolio, was designed to allow consumers to experience authentic tea that has been carefully brewed from premium tea leaves but in a convenient form to fit busy on-the-go lifestyles.

The two new variants launched in the range are the sugar-free Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe) Oolong Tea and the low-sugar Jin Ban Chrysanthemum Tea.

The Authentic Tea House range of RTD teas is available in all major retailers across Singapore, and soon to be in Malaysia.

Tan told us the Authentic Tea House range was specifically developed for Singapore and Malaysia markets, and whether it will be picked up in other country markets in the region depends if the team for the particular market feels that is what consumers there are looking for.

Sugar-reduction and reformulation

“Everything we do starts with our passion for what people want,”​ added Ahmed Yehia, country manager for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, The Coca-Cola Company.

“We listen carefully, pay attention to how they live their lives, and learn what they care about most. We then turn that listening into irresistible drinks that make life’s everyday moments more enjoyable.”

While the firm’s previous focus was on sparkling or carbonated beverages, Tan said the beverage landscape had since changed, and there has been a significant market shift towards beverages with lower sugar content. In particular, consumer preferences have since changed toward lower sugar or lower calorie drink products.

Likewise, Tan told us that nearly half of Coca-Cola’s portfolio today comprises beverages that are lower in sugar or unsweetened. In Singapore, Coca-Cola manufactures, markets and distributes more than 40 different beverages, of which 40% are lower or no-sugar beverage options. 

Tan said Coca-Cola No Sugar has seen double-digit growth since its rebranding from Coke Zero in 2016.

These initiatives are also part of Coca-Cola Singapore’s commitment together with six other beverage industry leaders in Singapore a year ago, to reduce sugar to a maximum content of 12% in all their drinks by 2020​.

Tan said Coca-Cola’s own company target is a maximum sugar content of 10% in all its drinks across its portfolio.

She further revealed to us that a move to reduce sugar in the Heaven and Earth range is also “on the cards”​.

Time for ‘me’ and tea

“Singaporeans, especially busy young adults, are seeking out authentic tea flavours to help relax and refresh their minds and bodies for a quality me-time. With Authentic Tea House, we are meeting that consumer demand by giving consumers a taste of authentic tea experience any time with the twist of a cap,” ​said Ahmed.

The Authentic Tea House Ayataka Green Tea and Da Hong Pao Oolong Tea will be available in a variety of package sizes and formats, including the 300ml can, 370ml PET bottle, 500ml PET bottle, 1.5L PET bottle, 4x300ml cans and 12x300ml cans. Authentic Tea House Jin Ban Chrysanthemum Tea will be available in the 300ml can, 4x300ml cans and 12x300ml cans.

The launch of the new Authentic Tea House range and its new variants was also in line with Coca-Cola’s transformation and growth from being a single-brand company into a total beverage company, with products across multiple segments. Aside from the teas and Coca-Cola, some of the firm’s leading brands in Singapore and Malaysia include Fanta, Sprite, A&W root beer, Schweppes, Minute Maid juice drinks, Aquarius isotonic drinks, Georgia coffee, Dasani water, Glacéau Vitaminwater and Zico coconut water.

Tan also told us that Coca-Cola’s range of juice drinks was also expected to grow.

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