Nexba launches low sugar soft drinks

Telstra Micro Business of the year Nexba has launched a limited edition Christmas range exclusive to Woolworths. 

The new sparkling ice tea range, consisting of passionfruit, cranberry and apple natural flavours, will be sold in bespoke 1L glass bottles specially designed for Woolworths. 

Drew Bilbe, Co-Founder and Operations Director at Nexba, said the launch into Woolworths marked a massive milestone for the business, making Nexba beverages available in every major Australian retailer.  

“With Australians becoming increasingly aware of the harmful effects of sugary soft drinks, Nexba offers quality and taste, but with less sugar and fewer calories. We are stoked to have worked collaboratively with Woolworths to launch this new 1L glass format range, and we’re confident shoppers will love it,” he said. 

The new ice tea range has only 4.9g of sugar per 100ml. By comparison, Coca Cola has more than double the sugar at 10.6g per 100ml. 

“We want to give Australians as many better-for-you beverage options as possible. Our new sparkling Christmas flavours are the perfect drinks to help transition soft drink junkies off their dangerous daily addictions,” said Mr. Bilbe.

The newest additions to the Nexba range brings the total tally to 10 flavours, which include Brewnette, Australia’s first natural cola with green coffee extract, and Super Infusions, Australia’s first super fruit/ food infused, sugar-free ice tea. 

“From day one, Nexba has strived to be The Beverage Innovators by partnering with national retailers and developing drinks their shoppers will love. We are self-funded and don’t have the deep pockets of the bigger brands. What we do have is an unending passion for offering Australians healthier beverages that don’t sacrifice on taste and quality,” said Troy Douglas, Co-Founder and Brand Director at Nexba.

The new Nexba flavours will be available at select Woolworths stores nationwide this week. 

Coca-Cola says portion control is behind smaller bottles

Coca-Cola South Pacific has revealed the early success of its 390ml packages, which are now available fro the second time across the Coca-Cola trademark and flavours range. The packages ranging has been extensively broadened and now replaces the 450ml package in response to changing consumer trends.

The beverage maker said that the 390ml package- which was first introduced in 2009, provides “multiple benefits to both consumers and retailers including portion control and delivering greater options on-shelf.”

The smaller portion size is designed to meet with Coca-Cola's strategy to deliver the right pack for the right occasion, providing an appropriate mid-sized refreshment for consumers.

Early 390ml trials in Queensland demonstrated a strong transaction uplift with double digit increase in unit sales within 390ml stockists and an increase in net contribution. Retailers said they also saw growth of 600ml packages over the trial period. 

To promote the packaging, the 390ml variant will be supported by occasion-based messaging at point of purchase, promoting it as a 'grab and go' option. 

To differentiate the offerings, the 250ml variant will be positioned as a 'Quick Treat' while those who have an 'Extra Thirst' will be encouraged to consider the 600ml package, the company said in a statement.

Dianne Everett, Group Marketing Manager Coca-Cola Trademark, Coca-Cola South Pacific, said: "We have been delighted to see consumers embrace the new smaller packaging in our early trials. Consumer trends have continued to evolve in recent years and we have recognised this with our recent packaging changes. Our aim is to provide greater choice with our products to suit the lifestyles of today's consumers. "

McDonald’s feels the pinch, but fast food is fighting fit

Fast food giant McDonald’s has been under a cloud in recent years as its US customers turn to alternatives. In this “Fast food reinvented” series we explore what the sector is doing to keep customers hooked and sales rising.

McDonald’s, the epitome of fast food, has been suffering a decline in global sales for the past few years. Globally, McDonald’s revenues in the first half of 2015 fell by 10% to US$12.5 billion and net income dropped by 22% to US$2 billion.

In May this year, worldwide sales dropped by 0.3%, with the greatest decline of 3.2% occurring in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, most certainly resulting from the food safety scandal in 2014.

Given the declines being seen at McDonald’s, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that junk food and takeaway is “out” while healthy foods are “in”. Consumers in many markets now accept fast food is unhealthy, a view consistently echoed by the scientific community. There’s no shortage of evidence: fast food is rich in fats and salt, and normally accompanied by beverages high in sugar.

A recent Mintel report on attitudes towards healthy eating in the UK finds that “being overweight is the most prevalent of health concerns among Britons”. So, increasingly, the healthiness of food is playing a large role in food decisions. For example, the same study found that the healthiness of food is the second-most-important consideration for food choice, with taste being number one.

A blip rather than a serious decline

The consumption of fast food and takeaway may be slowing down in some Western economies, but that’s not the case globally.

Combining data from various sources, including the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Economic Research Service, QSR Magazine, Economist Intelligence Unit, Mintel and company results, it’s possible to get a greater understanding of general trends.

In the US, spending on fast food and takeway per capita is projected to go from A$782.40 in 2015 to A$779.80 in 2018. A similar stabilising trend is forecast in the UK, with per capita spending expected to increase from $A228.40 in 2015 to $A232.40 in 2018. In Australia, spending per capita is predicted to fall from $A645.60 to $A620.40.

Retail market spend per capita on fast food and takeaway




However, this pattern is perhaps compensated by growth in Asia, South America and Eastern Europe. For example, per capita spending in China is predicted to rise from A$151.86 in 2015 to A$181.67 in 2018. In Brazil, per capita spending is estimated to increase from A$135.90 in 2015 to A$149.50 in 2018. In Russia, per capita spending on fast food and takeaway is expected to go up from A$55.61 in 2015 to A$76.96 in 2018.

Moreover, McDonald’s competitors, such as Burger King, Dominos, KFC etc, have turned around their fortunes, and the future of the fast food and takeaway industry looks even brighter. Burger King reported a rise in sales of 7.9% in the US and Canada during the second quarter of 2015. Although KFC and Pizza Hut (both owned by Yum! Brands) suffered declining sales in China, both have seen sales growth in UK markets.

In New Zealand, KFC reported a 9.7% annual sales rise in April. It also plans to open 150 new restaurants in Russia after recording 48% growth in sales for the first quarter of 2015. Pizza Hut almost doubled its annual profits in 2014 and is expecting to open several new outlets in the coming years.

Next stop, developing markets

People are becoming more health conscious and are more informed about the benefits of healthy eating. Educational programs are being introduced in schools to teach children about the different food groups and inculcate healthy eating habits. Governments have also taken measures to limit the consumption of junk food, implementing tighter regulations targeted towards curbing advertising to children.

These steps are taking place in both the developed world and in countries such as India, where the growth of fast food and takeaway is projected to grow. The Delhi High Court in India has decreed that junk food – or food high in fat, sugar and salt – must be restricted in schools and within a 50-metre radius around schools. New rules and regulations are also being put in place to restrict film stars and cricket icons (the aspirational group of the Indian middle class) from advertising junk foods.

All these factors will hopefully limit the consumption of unhealthy food and trim the waistlines of citizens across their nations. But the fast food and takeaway industry is also well poised to respond to these changes. For example, McDonald’s recently introduced the “Create Your Taste” campaign allowing consumers to customise their burgers.

Burger King is replacing sodas with fat-free milk, low-fat chocolate milk and apple juice in the beverage options on its children’s menu. And fast food companies such as McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell and Dunkin Donuts are also planning to trial home-delivery options, making their product more accessible to the public.

Ultimately, suggestions of the demise of fast food are likely to be greatly exaggerated.

The Conversation

Anish Nagpal, Senior Lecturer, Management and Marketing, University of Melbourne and Kristijan Causovski, Research Assistant, University of Melbourne

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

CHOICE bitter over sugar labelling confusion

CHOICE has called for the government to clearly label sugar on food products following the consumer group's finding that there are 43 different names food companies use to describe added sugars.

The call follows the recommendation from the World Health Organisation for people to limit the intake of 'free' or added sugars to be no more than 10% of a persons total energy intake in order to reduce the risk of health issues such as obesity and tooth decay.

"Some added sugars are easy to identify such as brown sugar and caster sugar but others like agave nectar, high-fructose corn syrup, rapadura and molasses are not," says CHOICE spokesperson Tom Godfrey.    
“We believe that consumers have a right to know what added sugars are in their foods but currently food companies make it very hard for us to work out.” 
“On food labels, the nutritional panel doesn’t differentiate between added sugar content and sugars that naturally occur in the product. So the only way for you to find out is by trying to identify these 40+ different names in the ingredients list.
“The fact is consumers should be able to identify which ingredients listed on food products are added sugars. We believe this could be achieved through a recommendation that is currently being reviewed by our food standards body,” says Mr Godfrey.