June 2005The idea for Vitalice, an energy-boosting ice lolly that claims to be the equivalent of Red Bull on a stick, came after some simple experimentation at a knees-up.
“We took some existing functional drinks and froze them to make ice lollies for a beach party and they were completely wiped out as people raved about them,” said Andrew Chesters, joint MD of Rivermill Foods, the company behind the launch.
Positioned as an ice lolly for grown-ups, the newcomer, which is claimed to be a market first, comes in two variants - Energy Kick and Vitamin Kick, both of which are aimed at 16 to 30-year-olds.
The products contain similar active ingredients to some energy drinks on the market, but less sugar and fewer calories.
Chesters, who predicts that the range will clock up sales of £6m in the next year, has high hopes for the future of this kind of product.
“Vitalice is still in its infancy, but if you were to take functional drinks as the model, then there is no reason why this should not represent a £30m opportunity within the first three years,” said Chesters.
Both of the lollies have been designed to offer a real point of the difference, according to Chesters. “There are a lot of energy drinks on the market, but what these drinks don’t really do is offer themselves as a refreshment when it is hot,” he said.
Energy Kick, which has a red orange flavour, combines ingredients such as guarana, ginseng and taurine to provide an energy boost. Vitamin Kick contains 10 vitamins, including 50% of the RDA of vitamin C, and has a multi-fruit flavour as a result of a recipe that combines 10 different juices and purées.
Launched in sports and fitness clubs in June, Rivermill has now also secured listings in some Spar shops and said it is currently “in talks with two major retailers for next season’s launch”.
The company is planning on supporting the newcomer with a strong marketing push, including television and press advertising in the run up to and during next summer.