A drinks manufacturer has announced the launch of a new low-calorie product, tapping into the growing demand for healthier options.
Global Brands has announced the development of VK & Soda Lime and VK & Soda Berries, which will be launched into venues stocking VK, including NUS venues, as well as into wholesalers for the On Trade.
The two new fruity flavours contain fewer calories than the primary VK range and zero sugar.
The varieties are based on two of the UK’s favourite drinks – ‘Blue’, the UK’s best-selling RTD flavour in alcopops, and vodka, lime, and soda, the classic ‘& soda’ bar call. Each VK & Soda contains 56 calories.
The launch comes as CGA data reveals 84% of Gen Z consumers are looking for healthier options on menus when drinking out, and more consumers are generally looking for zero sugar and lower calorie drinks.
Hard seltzers, the go-to lower calorie beverage in the USA, have fallen flat in the UK however – UK sales of hard seltzers lag behind the expanding global market, which hit $16.36bn in 2022, despite clear demand for zero sugar, lower calorie options from UK consumers – with lack of flavour being a key barrier.
While many hard seltzer brands opt for a fermented sugar base, VK & SODA uses a real vodka base, adding to that crisp and clean taste that consumers expect from vodka drinks.
The launch of VK & SODA is set to engage with RTD consumers, as well as attracting a rapidly expanding segment of consumers to the category that opt for beverages with fewer calories than typical RTDs and zero sugar.
Charlie Leaver, head of brand at Global Brands Ltd, said: “VK & SODA is the pre-mixed drink delivering full flavour and a zesty, crisp taste, with 56 calories and zero sugar. Consumers can have the party vibes and fruitiness that come with a VK, with fewer calories than our iconic, No.1 drink for students.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to release this true innovation for the category – a product enticing the rapidly growing segment of health-conscious consumers, with the full flavour and taste that VK delivers.
“With Gen Z consumers looking for zero sugar and lower calorie options, ensuring that your premises provides this choice is vital to cross-selling existing customers and attracting a new segment to the growing RTD market.
“The variety of flavours in the VK range attracts and retains Gen Z consumers, with the typical flavour choice of an 18-24 consumer varying daily. Following our hugely successful rebrand last year, we’ve strengthened the identity of each flavour in the VK line-up, and have boosted the appeal of the range to Gen Z consumers with these exciting, proven favourite flavours.”
The consumer launch will be kicked off with the VK Refreshers Tour across 16 Universities through January and February, with each date giving students the chance to be amongst the first to try VK & SODA.
VK & SODA Berries and VK & SODA Lime are available in 275ml PET and glass bottles, and have an ABV of 3.4%.