Challenger brand Twelve Below launch two all-natural, low sugar sparkling drinks and highlight the need for industry change.

Twelve Below have already made a mark on the drinks industry, winning awards for their category defining ‘low sugar’ drinks. They are now launching two new sparkling drinks to the market this June, with the same core beliefs as their tonics and mixers – 100% natural, low sugar and great tasting.

Following the launch of Twelve Below’s tonics and mixers, it became clear that they were equally enjoyed as a standalone soft drink, as they were with alcoholic or ‘low and no’ alcohol spirits. The love for their low sugar, all-natural flavours, highlighted a growing movement towards health conscious drinks, which many market leading brands have not yet explored. Twelve Below saw an opportunity to move into the soft drinks space and develop a range of sparkling drinks which offer natural, low sugar beverages to consumers, that don’t compromise on taste.

The soft drinks market has not yet evolved to fit the healthy lifestyle needs of the 21st century consumer. The Soft Drinks Industry Levy, also known as the ‘Sugar Tax’, saw a shift in the drinks market in 2018, with large corporate brands being forced to reduce sugar content in their soft drinks to below 5g per 100ml, as a national effort to tackle childhood obesity. The aim was to improve the health of consumers, but brands instead used high-intensity sugar replacers such as stevia, aspartame or sucralose to reduce sugar and subsequently, their large tax bills. These sugar substitutes not only heavily impact flavour, but scientists and nutritionists debate they have their own health concerns. Sugar replacers add intense levels of sweetness to products, leading our brains into thinking we are consuming real sugar. This increases cravings for sweet food and drink and we become more sugar dependent. UK charity, Action On Sugar states “High-intensity sugar replacers serve no purpose other than to provide sweetness and should be used only as a short-term solution, if at all.”

Artisan brands are likely to fall outside of the threshold for ‘Sugar Tax’ due to smaller production rates. Without the requirement to reduce their sugar content, market leading artisan soft drinks continue to contain up to 20g of sugar per 200ml serving, which is the equivalent of 5 teaspoons of sugar! It is these artisan brands that Twelve Below wants to challenge, to pioneer a change within the industry and educate consumers. Twelve Below’s mission is to be the modern alchemist of the drinks industry, by creating low sugar, great tasting formulations that bring soft drinks into the 21st century.

Twelve Below uses only premium natural ingredients in their drinks and for sweetness, add a dash of organic agave. They have spent two years developing modern flavour combinations for their new sparkling drinks, which fit perfectly into their product range. The two new flavours are:

Lime & Basil – A refreshing and elegant drink, with a twist of English Basil.
Elderflower & Lemon – A crisp and light, quintessentially English country garden drink.
Both flavours contain only 12 calories / 2.4g of natural sugar per 100ml.

Ross Smethurst, Founder of Twelve Below explains “We wanted to produce interesting flavour combinations that add a twist to the adult soft drinks market. We offer a solution for health-conscious consumers who still enjoy a soft drink but don’t want the sugar or substitutes that are associated with ‘fizzy drinks’. Twelve Below is the modern alchemist of the drinks industry, creating an artisanal sparkling drink that is formulated with safe levels of sugar, whilst not compromising on taste. We believe we have become real innovators in low sugar drinks and want to lead the way for change within the industry, to start taking responsibility for consumers’ health.”