Coca-Cola European Partners is bringing low-calorie premium iced tea brand Fuze to the UK, boosting the number of the soft drink giant’s products exempt from the impending sugar tax.
Two flavours – Peach & Hibiscus and Mango & Chamomile – will hit shelves from mid-January in a 400ml PET bottle (rsp: £1.20), followed in March by a 4x400ml multipack (rsp: £3.49).
In line with Coca-Cola’s sustainability targets for 2020, Fuze is made using 100% sustainably-sourced tea leaves. It is primarily sweetened with stevia and contains about 4g of sugar per 10oml and 14-19 calories.
The launch marked “a fantastic opportunity to provide new, more sophisticated flavours to more people” said CCEP customer marketing director Simon Harrison.
It will be backed by a £4m push with the tagline ‘serve yourself a little me time’ – to encourage consumers to “take a moment to unwind” according to CCEP.
Fuze Tea made its debut in 2012 in the US and 13 other overseas markets, hitting $1bn in global retail sales by the end of 2014.
It is the second UK bottled tea launch for CCEP in just over a year, after US brand Honest arrived in December 2016 to challenge Britvic’s Lipton.
Low-sugar and healthier products have become a critical focus for Coke over the past decade as it faces a change in attitudes towards high-sugar products and the sugar levy. It returned to growth last year thanks to booming sales of Coke Zero, up £39.3m in value, as Coke Classic and Diet declined [Nielsen 52 w/e 9 September 2017].
“We will continue to change recipes, introduce innovative new products, build distribution for our smaller packs and encourage consumers to choose our lower and no-sugar drinks,” said Harrison.