ANZ Focus: Adult sodas, major beverage firms' sugar reduction pledge, yacon as next Manuka honey and more feature in our round-up

By Pearly Neo

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Adult sodas, major beverage firms' sugar reduction pledge, yacon as next Manuka honey and more feature in this edition of ANZ Focus. ©Getty Images
Adult sodas, major beverage firms' sugar reduction pledge, yacon as next Manuka honey and more feature in this edition of ANZ Focus. ©Getty Images

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Adult sodas, major beverage firms' sugar reduction pledge, yacon as next Manuka honey and more feature in this edition of ANZ Focus.

‘Not replicating booze’: How Australia’s So Soda is seeking to blaze a trail in adult non-alcoholic beverages

Australia’s So Soda is hoping for success amid the thriving non-alcoholic beverages category by focusing on flavourful and sophisticated drinks that don’t seek to replicate existing booze products.

So Soda’s main target consumers are adults in the twenties to forties age range looking to reduce alcohol consumption, but with an increasing number of non-alcoholic adult options emerging in the market, the firm has decided to go down a less-travelled route.

“We saw a very big gap in the current market for non-alcoholic beverages targeted at adults – most of these drinks now are trying to be replicas of existing alcoholic products like beers, wines or G&Ts,”​ So Soda Founder and Director Daniel Hastings told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

‘No need for regressive taxes’: Major Australian beverage brands make further sugar reduction pledges

Major Australian beverage firms including Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have increased their sugar reduction commitments for non-alcoholic beverage products in a further push to demonstrate the efficacy of industry-led initiatives over taxation.

The Australian beverage industry pledged to reduce the sugar content within non-alcoholic beverage portfolios back in 2018, an initiative led by the Australian Beverages Council Ltd (ABCL).

The target commitment set back then was a reduction of 20% between 2015 to 2025 – but some of the biggest firms in the industry have now decided to upgrade this by a further 5% to a 25% reduction in sugar by 2025, which would demonstrate the efficacy of these industry-led initiative.

“Our Sugar Reduction Pledge signatories are accelerating their sugar reduction target not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because they’re ahead on their current sugar reduction targets,”​ ABCL Chief Executive Officer Geoff Parker told FoodNavigator-Asia​ on behalf of the beverage industry.

The next Manuka honey? NZ winner of NutraIngredients-Asia Start-up Award ready to go overseas with yacon product

The winner of NutraIngredients-Asia Awards 2022 Start-Up prize believes its flagship product – a prebiotic fructo-oligosaccharides juice extracted from yacon – could follow in the footsteps of Manuka Honey and become New Zealand’s next big exports success.

Yacon New Zealand was up against fellow finalists Live Yourself Vitamins from Turkey and fellow New Zealand company Zestt Wellness for the award.

Founded in 2016, Yacon New Zealand’s products are built upon over two decades of research on yacon – a tuber plant indigenous to South America – by Dr. Robert Welch, who has a PhD in reproductive physiology and biochemistry from Cambridge University, as well as 30 years of experience working in government agricultural research laboratories.

Yacon is naturally high in sugar content and Dr. Welch’s research focuses on the ways to maximise the fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) level while minimising the sugar level at the same time. 

Broadening appeal: NZ probiotic firm Blis reveals positive findings for upper respiratory health

A New Zealand probiotic company is aiming to broaden the health claims applicable for its flagship probiotic strain BLIS K12 in the area of upper respiratory health, following favourable findings published recently.

Blis Technologies Limited is the company behind BLIS K12 and two other probiotic strains known as BLIS M18 – also used in supplements and foods, and BLIS Q24 which has been used in skincare products.

BLIS K12 is a specific strain of bacteria known as Streptococcus salivarius ​K12, which is found naturally in the tongue and has also been found in the intestines and skin, which means it could have applications on these sites.  

Bubs to target China’s general trade channels with infant goat milk formula pending SAMR approval

Bubs Australia is hoping to expand its presence in China via the general trade route through the introduction of its first China-label goat milk infant formula.

The company has already secured a slot to manufacture the goat infant formula with local Chinese firm Heilongjiang Ubeite Dairy Group (HUG). However, it will still need to wait for the product to be approved by the Chinese regulator State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) under the new GB standards.

Said to be designed exclusively for the Chinese infants, the new product is made of easy-digest A2 goat milk protein and functional ingredients such as sn2-palmitate (O2O), lactoferrin, and prebiotics.

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