Sweet solution: Kolibri launches customizable bottle for tailored sugar intake

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23 Jul 2018 --- Kolibri Drinks has collaborated with glass packaging specialists Beatson Clark to design and launch a customizable bottle which enables consumers to control the amount of sugar in their drink. Consumers squeeze in as much or as little of the nectar as they desire from the bottle cap, while the viscosity of the nectar has been designed to blend easily with the drink without any shaking. Kolibri has cited public awareness around sugar intake and consumer demand – particularly among millennials – for personalized products which are adaptable to individual lifestyle choices.

Click to EnlargeKamila Sitwell, Co-Founder of Kolibri Drinks, describes the customizable bottle concept as a “eureka” moment:
“Imagine four likeminded girlfriends on a spa break. Girls with similar jobs and backgrounds, the same location, one occasion, ordering the same drink – homemade lemonade. The drink created by the barman delighted my taste buds, but none of the other girls liked it,” she tells NutritionInsight.

“They fussed over sugar content and the taste of lemons. We all expected the drink to match our own preference. The barman had to re-create the order but this time, one drink at a time, mixed to each individual’s taste. Bingo! All the insights, industry knowledge and trends I studied for years suddenly made so much sense – the future of the soft drinks must be bespoke. No one size fits all anymore.”

Beatson Clark’s in-house design team worked with Kolibri Drinks from the early concept stage through to manufacture, to design a bottle which allows consumers to control the amount of sugar in their drink. The aim was to create an elegant bottle wClick to Enlargehich would appeal to the premium retail and restaurant market.

All the sugar has been removed from the botanical drink in the bottle and is stored instead in the bottle cap, so consumers can decide how much sweetness – if any – they wish to add to their drink.

Natural sugar with low glycemic index
“We used a blend of agave, apple and caramel as our sweetening nectar for the cap. The agave is a natural sugar with low glycemic index and 1.5 times sweeter than granulated sugar. This means consumers have much less of it to have the preferred sweetness level. We are Sugarwise accredited as the whole cap has less than 40 Kcal, 2g of sugar per 100ml,” Sitwell explains.

“The viscosity of the nectar in the cap has been designed to blend easily with the drink in the bottle without any shaking. Consumers squeeze in as much or as little of the nectar as they wish, sweetening their drink and heightening different botanical notes with each drop,” she says.

“We noticed that regular Kolibri consumers don’t stick to the same sugar level every time. Their preference for sweetness changes depending on the accompanying dish, time of day, weather, occasion, day part. They all enjoy the new ritual of tailoring the sweetness and flavor, matching it to mood, lifestyle or their diet,” she adds.

The bottle itself, designed and produced at Beatson Clark’s glassworks in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, UK, is a cone-shaped 300ml white flint flask made from 30 percent recycled glass on average.

Flavors in the Kolibri range include Elderflower & Lime, Strawberry & Basil and Cardamom & Chilli. It’s currently available for purchase in Gaucho Restaurants, M Restaurants and Champneys Hotels.

Click to EnlargeCustomizing the war on sugar
In April the long-anticipated UK sugar tax came into effect. Innova Market Insights carried out a survey examining what factors influence consumers by when making soft drink purchasing decisions.

Coming out on top was the “low/no/reduced sugar” with 32.6 percent of participants saying this is what influences them the most, followed by 17.4 percent of people who said that “No artificial flavors or colors” was their key driver.

“Sugar is currently the biggest industry challenge and while most soft drink companies reformulate their recipes with artificial sweeteners to avoid sugar tax, consumers increasingly turn their backs on anything synthetic, artificial or weird tasting,” Sitwell tells NutritionInsight.

“Sugar is only a problem when it’s ‘over-engineered’ in recipes and then imposed on consumers. Consumers already tailor their coffees, teas or cocktails and restaurants’ menus are increasingly designed to be customizable to fit vegans, vegetarians or people with allergies or dietary requirements. Consumers should always be in control of what goes into their food and drinks,” she says.

“The soft drink industry has been particularly slow relative to other beverage categories such as alcohol or coffee despite the fact that staggering 50 percent, one in two consumers would like to try a soft drink creation experience, similar to that offered in the cocktail and coffee categories.”

Click to Enlarge“We believe that customization of sugar and flavor is the future. Customisation, personalization, bespoke, tailored –all describe the trend which is an ever-present and growing part of 21st-century life. Modern consumers, especially Millennials, are not willing to accept mass-produced goods or services which do not fit in with their personal desires, lifestyle choices or allow them to express their personality or values,” Sitwell concludes.

Kolibri Drinks has several patents in place for future NPD. Kolibri means hummingbird in 30 different languages and is seen as a symbol of joy and freedom around the world.

By Joshua Poole

This feature is provided by NutritionInsight's sister website, PackagingInsights.

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

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