Rise of the ‘calorie-burning functional drink

Recent research developments (See C&I WEEK 101, Nestle to unlock metabolic ‘master switch’?) suggest that foods and drinks are able to offer metabolic benefits to consumers – including influencing the rate at which the body burns calories. This is no surprise to Anthony Peacock National Sales Representative for Aspire Drinks Australia & New Zealand.

In an interview with C&I WEEK, Mr Peacock, said Aspire seeks to utilise natural substances to influence the body’s mechanisms. Aspire was launched into the UK two years ago where it is stocked by retailers including London’s prestigious Selfridges and claims to be one of the first functional energy balancing drinks to market.

Aspire is a lightly carbonated drink with a cranberry flavour that contains “a mix of functional ingredients”. According to Mr Peacock, the Aspire soft-drink uses a set of natural thermogenic (metabolism boosting) ingredients to burn calories. Aspire’s key ingredients are guarana extract, green tea extract, ginger and L-carnitine, which when combined have thermogenic qualities, that raise the body’s metabolism, accelerate weight loss, suppress appetite and play an important role in the oxidisation of fat.

While it is packaged as a Calorie-Burning Drink, Mr Peacock points out that “Aspire has many functions and is also a natural energy drink with clean botanical ingredients that provide and long duration slow release energy, that last hours with no insulin spikes”.

As a healthy option carbonated drink, Aspire contains half the RDA of vitamins and minerals and has no artificial ingredients, no sugar and creates a negative calorie effect through “thermic burn”.

After just three months on the Australian market, Aspire is stocked in gyms, pharmacies and health food stores, by IGA Australia-wide and is available through Fresh Food Distributors (NSW & Vic). Aspire have recently signed up with About Life (a Sydney-based supermarket with an emphasis on health and well being) and with the EzyMart convenience chain and are keen to continue growth within the convenience channel.

The success of Aspire in such a limited time is evidenced, Mr Peacock says, in select stores where it is outselling Monster by 90% and achieving up to 70% of Red Bull’s sale volumes.

Research has shown that “consumer preferences are continuing to shift away from sugar-laden soft drinks such as colas and lemonades, and towards other ‘healthier’, more ‘natural’ sparkling beverages” according to Angela Smith, group account director at Roy Morgan.

Mr Peacock agrees, “the Australian market is undergoing some dramatic changes when consumer preferences are changing in favour of low sugar beverages with natural ingredients, and this is evidenced by the success of existing products such as Aspire and the current research and development projects of large multinational companies. We predict a continued emphasis on the growth and development of products that can benefit consumers by influence the body’s mechanisms. It is going to be huge”.

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