Cawston Press no added sugar fizzy drinks

Posh soft drinks brand Cawston Press has reformulated its sparkling drinks, removing added sugar ahead of the impending soft drinks levy.

The result of more than a year’s development, four revamped variants – Cloudy Apple, Ginger Beer, Rhubarb, and Elderflower Lemonade – will roll out on 12 March to Sainsbury’s, with calories reduced by an average of 24%.

The drinks will be more widely available from early April. Cawston Press has dropped its Cucumber & Mint and Gooseberry variants, launched in spring 2016, due to disappointing sales.

The reformulated sodas are sweetened only with fruit juice, making them exempt from April’s soft drinks levy. They contain no more than 27 kcal per 100ml, while sugar is a maximum of 5.7g – a reduction of up to 33% across the range.

Cawston Press refused to use artificial sweeteners and had instead increased fruit juice content by up to four times, said MD Steve Kearns. “For a small company like ours, that’s an enormous investment.”

The price of fruit juice had “skyrocketed by more than 60% in the last year, due to late frosts and a poor harvest”. As a result, the overhauled fizzy drinks will have higher rsps. A 330ml can will be £1.19 from 99p – an increase of 20%.

Cawston Press had “always been a premium product” the brand said. “In using more fruit juice we are, in a sense, making ourselves an even better quality product still, and we feel the new pricing structure appropriately reflects this.”