As new research reveals concern over sugar is prompting shoppers to cut back on soft drinks, Lucozade Energy is launching its first reduced-sugar variant.

Rolling out from 11 August, Cloudy Lemonade flavoured Lucozade Energy Reduced Sugar contains 4.1g of sugar per 100ml compared with the 8.7g found in Original Lucozade Energy.

Carrying the strapline ‘Great taste. Half the sugar’, it was described by supplier Lucozade Ribena Suntory (LRS) – which last year pledged to cut the calorie and sugar content of 65% of the Lucozade Energy range sold in the UK and Ireland – as a “new brand proposition.” LRS already sells a lower-sugar Lucozade Sport range, called Sport Lite.

Lucozade marketing director Corrine Hopwood said she hoped the launch would “help to retain shoppers within the Energy segment” by meeting the needs of 25 to 34-year-olds who had been shown to demand healthier soft drink options as they got older.

Although take-home energy drink sales are growing – up 8.1% by value and 7.4% by volume [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 29 March 2014] – the trend for lower-sugar drinks has prompted low and no-sugar launches from rival brands including Rockstar, Red Bull, Monster and Relentless in the past year.

Mintel this week released research showing one in four Brits – and a third of 16 to 24-year-olds – said they were drinking fewer fizzy soft drinks than six months ago.

Half the 2,000 consumers polled who said they were drinking fewer soft drinks claimed this was because they felt the drinks contained too much sugar.

Lucozade Energy Reduced Sugar is being launched in 380ml (price-marked 95p), 500ml (rsp: £1.15), one-litre (rsp: £1.99), and multipacks (rsp: £3.85/6x380ml).