Sugar – should we condemn the white stuff?

Jan 21, 2019

Kolibri bottle and glass

Apparently sugar is the greatest evil since tobacco and is undoubtedly the no 1 enemy. The headlines screech about children’s decayed teeth being pulled out, how the NHS is crumbling under the pressure of dealing with increasing numbers of obese or diabetic patients, how even raisins and grapes should be termed sugar bombs…it’s no wonder that the sugar has replaced price as the British consumer’s top food concern.

It is certainly true that increased sugar consumption is having a massive impact on our health. Obesity rates have doubled over the past 20 years and today, it’s estimated that 63% of UK adults are overweight and that all age groups in the population consume more than the recommended amount of free sugars and saturated fats. The high percentage of sugars consumed by teenagers is particularly concerning, as is the fact that 1 in 5 children are obese aged 10/11 yrs.

In April 2018 the government stepped in with the soft drinks industry levy, ‘sugar tax’ which was imposed on soft drinks that contain more than 5g sugar/100ml and at a higher rate for those containing more than 8g/100ml. The industry responded with reformulations, changes in pack sizes, and a push towards their ‘sugar-free’ or low sugar variants, often artificially sweetened. However, while welcomed by health campaigners and charities, some believe the sugar tax amounts to meddling by the ‘nanny state’.

At Kolibri we believe in free choice. No one dictates how much sugar you should or shouldn’t consume in your coffee or tea, so the problem is not about quantity but rather about control and individual choice. We have taken the sugar out but allowed each individual to add it back in, if they wish, in the quantity they desire. The sweetness comes from agave, a natural sweetener which has 1.5x the sweetness of granulated sugars, meaning far less is needed for the same result. Even if all the agave nectar from the cap is used in the drink, there are no more than 40kcal per bottle with just over 2g sugar / 100ml. Indulgence with a clear conscience!

To allow consumers to recognise good choices when selecting their food and drink, they can look for the blue Sugarwise label. Sugarwise, developed by Rend Platings, is an international marque that independently verifies whether products are sugar-free, low in sugar, have no added sugar or reduced sugar. Kolibri drinks are proud to achieve the low sugar certification which is displayed on every bottle.

So for those customers who are not a big fan of the niche Kombucha or Shrubs, Kolibri is the best option for a great tasting low sugar drink with the bonus that it can tailored to taste. With more of us turning away from the booze, the future of these distinctive non-alcoholic drinks is looking bright.


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