Desktop Drinks 01 Bottle
Desktop Drinks 01 Bottle

Moving On Drinks

By the time Lucozade, Ribena and Suntory came together in 2014, the impact of the overconsumption of sugar on people’s health was becoming increasingly clear. By 2016 it had reached a real tipping point. We realised that if we wanted to have brands that were fit for the future, we needed to change and cut down on the sugar significantly. 

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Our challenge was to provide our health-conscious consumers with a better-suited version of our drinks all while matching the flavour they knew as closely as possible. 

In 2016, we ramped up our efforts and we made our move. 

Received investment and support from Suntory (our parent company)

Created new recipes for all of our core drinks

Received investment and support from Suntory (our parent company)

Created new recipes for all of our core drinks

Bought, installed and trained our staff on new machinery 

Introduced new methods and processes

Reformulated a total of 60 drinks 

Received investment and support from Suntory (our parent company)

Created new recipes for all of our core drinks

Bought, installed and trained our staff on new machinery 

Introduced new methods and processes

Reformulated a total of 60 drinks 

We were determined to have a positive impact on our consumer’s lives and deliver the very best lower-calorie drinks on the market.  

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Read more

Our challenge was to provide our health-conscious consumers with a better-suited version of our drinks all while matching the flavour they knew as closely as possible. 

In 2016, we ramped up our efforts and we made our move. 

Received investment and support from Suntory (our parent company)

Created new recipes for all of our core drinks

Bought, installed and trained our staff on new machinery 

Introduced new methods and processes

Reformulated a total of 60 drinks 

We were determined to have a positive impact on our consumer’s lives and deliver the very best lower-calorie drinks on the market.  

Desktop 1 01 900x460 Introduction Desktop Drinks
Desktop 1 01 900x460 Introduction Desktop Drinks
Desktop Drinks 02 Formula
Desktop Drinks 02 Formula

Brand Reformulation

Sugar tastes good. Everyone knows that. But there are plenty of zero-calorie flavour substitutes that can mimic the sweetness of sugar. We could have just replaced the sugar with those and problem solved, right?

Wrong

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Really?

Did you know that sugar is responsible for lots more than just the sweetness of a drink? It provides volume, it affects the feel of the liquid in your mouth – getting rid of the sugar in our drinks without throwing out the taste and texture too was no easy task.

We had 60 drinks to reformulate which meant a mountain of different recipes to trial. We pulled in a hundred members of staff, who worked tirelessly to make it happen. We conducted countless consumer trials along the way to ensure that we were getting it right. 

What were the results?

What were the results?

Desktop 2 01 200x280 Desktop Carousel 01 Ribena Stement
Blackcurrant Ribena

56%

of the sugar removed and

49%

of the calories removed 
Desktop 2 01 200x280 Desktop Carousel 02 LE Statement
Lucozade Energy Orange

65%

of the sugar removed and

44%

of the calories removed
Desktop 2 01 200x280 Desktop Carousel 03 Orangina Statment
Orangina

57%

of the sugar removed and

52%

of the calories removed
Desktop 2 04 310x310 Desktop Carousel 05 Kicking SugarCubes
Desktop 2 04 310x310 Desktop Carousel 05 Kicking SugarCubes

25,500

tonnes of sugar removed
Desktop 2 04 310x310 Desktop Carousel 05 Kicking SugarCubes
Desktop 2 04 310x310 Desktop Carousel 05 Kicking SugarCubes

98.1bn 

calories removed 
Desktop 2 04 310x310 Desktop Carousel 05 Kicking SugarCubes
Desktop 2 04 310x310 Desktop Carousel 05 Kicking SugarCubes

50%

of the sugar and calories removed from our iconic brands

Learnings

Our goal is to have a positive impact on the lives of our consumers, but our decision to remove some of the sugar from our famous drinks led to some unique challenges. We’re aware that some of our consumers use our drinks for a specific purpose and we also know that ‘health’ means different things to different people. 

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Ingredients

Although Lucozade Energy is not prescribed for medical use, we worked with all of the UK and Ireland's leading Diabetes groups, and all other relevant health-care bodies and professionals, to communicate the formulation changes to people living with the condition.

It’s well established that our low-calorie sweeteners are completely safe: they’ve been safely used for decades and extensively researched by the European Food Safety Authority.

The bottom line is that we would never put anything in our drinks that we weren’t satisfied was completely and utterly safe.

Here, Dr Caroline Saunders explains in a little more detail.

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Labelling

We took the decision not to label our reformulations as ‘healthier’ based on behavioural insight research: people instinctively feel that eating food or a drink labelled as ‘healthier’ means compromising on taste.

We saw this directly ourselves. When we announced our plans to reformulate, we received dozens of complaints about the change in taste even though the drink wasn’t on shelves. 

In other words, we realised that overtly promoting that our new formula contained fewer calories and less sugar could be counterproductive to our attempts to help the nation be healthier. The feedback from trials also told us that the drink was a brilliant taste match which was another reason not to label it as ‘different’.

While the majority of our consumers stuck by us, some decided to walk away.  

We had to believe in our strategy and remember that this was a long-term move. Our research told us that consumers would return to the drinks they love and our recent sales results have supported the behavioural insights research; consumers have come back to us - and we have opened the door to health-conscious people who saw our old sugar levels as a reason not to buy our drinks. 

It’s clear that making any change to an iconic brand - no matter how well-intentioned it is - will generate a reaction from some consumers and businesses need to be ready to face into that. While obesity remains one of the most significant health challenges we face as a country, we’re proud that more than 24 million people are now consuming less sugar each and every time they enjoy a Lucozade Energy, Ribena or Orangina.

Desktop 3 04 Desktop 840x460 Lucozade

Learnings

Our goal is to have a positive impact on the lives of our consumers, but our decision to remove some of the sugar from our famous drinks led to some unique challenges. We’re aware that some of our consumers use our drinks for a specific purpose and we also know that ‘health’ means different things to different people. 

+

Ingredients

Although Lucozade Energy is not prescribed for medical use, we worked with all of the UK and Ireland's leading Diabetes groups, and all other relevant health-care bodies and professionals, to communicate the formulation changes to people living with the condition.

It’s well established that our low-calorie sweeteners are completely safe: they’ve been safely used for decades and extensively researched by the European Food Safety Authority.

The bottom line is that we would never put anything in our drinks that we weren’t satisfied was completely and utterly safe.

Here, Dr Caroline Saunders explains in a little more detail.

+

Labelling

We took the decision not to label our reformulations as ‘healthier’ based on behavioural insight research: people instinctively feel that eating food or a drink labelled as ‘healthier’ means compromising on taste. 

We saw this directly ourselves. When we announced our plans to reformulate, we received dozens of complaints about the change in taste even though the drink wasn’t on shelves. 

In other words, we realised that overtly promoting that our new formula contained fewer calories and less sugar could be counterproductive to our attempts to help the nation be healthier. The feedback from trials also told us that the drink was a brilliant taste match which was another reason not to label it as ‘different’.

While the majority of our consumers stuck by us, some decided to walk away.  

We had to believe in our strategy and remember that this was a long-term move. Our research told us that consumers would return to the drinks they love and our recent sales results have supported the behavioural insights research; consumers have come back to us - and we have opened the door to health-conscious people who saw our old sugar levels as a reason not to buy our drinks. 

It’s clear that making any change to an iconic brand - no matter how well-intentioned it is - will generate a reaction from some consumers and businesses need to be ready to face into that. While obesity remains one of the most significant health challenges we face as a country, we’re proud that more than 24 million people are now consuming less sugar each and every time they enjoy a Lucozade Energy, Ribena or Orangina.

Desktop 3 04 Desktop 840x460 Lucozade
Desktop Drinks 03  Handshake
Desktop Drinks 03  Handshake

Meeting Consumer Demand

As consumer needs change alongside global health trends, we innovate to ensure our portfolio of drinks continues to offer the public relevant options. Each of our main brands has a lower-sugar alternative and we’ve developed less sweet-tasting products too.

Lucozade Sport Fitwater

is a zero-calorie, zero-sugar, purified water specially designed for use on occasions of physical exertion. Containing four key electrolytes that help to replenish consumers during and after sports and exercise.

Desktop 4 02 Desktop Carousel 440x440 Fitwater

True Nopal Cactus Water

has a crisp, refreshing berry taste with less than 29 calories per 330ml carton and no added sugar. The brand has generated a very positive response from consumers seeking a less-sweet tasting drink. 

Desktop 4 01 Desktop Carousel 440x440 Turnopal

Lucozade Zero 

has proved a hero! Officially recognised as the most popular soft drinks launch of 2016, this zero-calorie soft drink remains one of our most successful launches ever. 

Desktop 4 03 Desktop Carousel 440x440 Lucozade