VK debuts zero-sugar RTDs

Jan 23, 2023by Nicola Carruthers

Global Brands has launched a vodka-based, zero-sugar range for its VK brand to attract health-conscious consumers.

The new VK & Soda range taps into the demand for sugar-free and lower-calorie drinks, according to the ready-to-drink (RTD) brand. The new line includes two variants, VK & Soda Berries and VK & Soda Lime, which each contain 56 calories. The former, based on the brand’s Blue RTD, combines berry flavours with vodka. The ‘light and bubbly’ Soda Lime expression is inspired by the classic serve of vodka, lime, and soda. Global Brands cited data from CGA which revealed that 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. The company also noted that hard seltzer sales have ‘fallen flat’ in the UK, with ‘lack of flavour’ cited as a key barrier. Charlie Leaver, head of brands at Global Brands, said: “Consumers can have the party vibes and fruitiness that come with a VK, with fewer calories than our iconic, number one 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.” The launch of the new line will be kicked off with the VK Refreshers Tour across 16 universities during January and February, providing students the chance to sample the products and take home branded merchandise. The range is now available to the on-trade in 275ml PET and glass bottles. Each variant has an ABV of 3.4%. In September last year, the brand was given a packaging redesign to attract its core Gen Z audience. VK is the biggest-selling RTD brand by both volume and value in the UK on-trade, according to CGA data.

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