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Alcohol drinks with more sugar to cater for young Britons being released

  • Some new alcoholic drinks contain even more sugar than Coca-Cola
  • Market share of sweeter tasting drinks rocketed by 50 per cent in decade
  • Comes as people move away from drinking the drink their parents enjoyed 

By Sean Poulter Consumer Affairs Editor For The Daily Mail

Published: 18:26 EST, 12 October 2015 | Updated: 05:12 EST, 13 October 2015

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Alcoholic drinks are getting sweeter in a bid to appeal to the tastes of young Britons raised on sugary energy drinks, it is claimed.

At one time, a young adult’s rite of passage involved downing a pint of lager, a traditional bitter or a gin and tonic.

However, today, it is more likely to be a vodka and red bull, a fruity wine or one of a new range of expensive beers with an added spirit that are sweetened with sugar and glucose syrup.

Alcoholic drinks are getting sweeter in a bid to appeal to the tastes of young Britons raised on sugary energy drinks, it is claimed

Alcoholic drinks are getting sweeter in a bid to appeal to the tastes of young Britons raised on sugary energy drinks, it is claimed

These new creations contain even more sugar than Coca-Cola, so combining alcohol and calories in a product that is unlikely to help in the fight against obesity.

The market share of sweet-tasting alcoholic drinks has rocketed 50per cent in the last decade as the younger crowd turn their back on traditional ales, according to industry experts.

Heineken’s Craig Clarkson said: ‘We are growing up in a time when people do not drink the drink their dad drank. Drinkers are experimenting and that is taking a percentage of the market.’

Matthew Deane, of Molson Coors, which was among the first to pioneer sweeter lager with launch of Carling Zest citrus lager in 2012, said: ‘Over the last ten years sweet drinks’ share of alcohol servings has increased 50per cent. It is critical that brands innovate with flavours that appeal to an increasingly sweeter palate.’

Trade magazine The Grocer said: ‘The Red Bull generation is growing up. And as this new breed, brought up on super-sweet energy drinks, begins visiting pubs and boozing at home, alcohol is getting sweeter.’

It pointed to research by retail analysts Kantar Worldpanel, which reported that the wine mixer Echo Falls Fruit Fusions is the biggest drink brand launch of the year.

Echo Falls is sold in a conventional wine bottle, however it is mixed with natural fruit flavours such as peach and mango to produce an ‘easy drinking’ sweet drink with a 9per cent alcohol content.

The market share of sweet-tasting alcoholic drinks has rocketed 50per cent in the last decade

The range comes from the British drinks company, Accolade Wine, whose spokesman, Amy White, said: ‘We know through research that newbie consumers are eager to experiment with new flavours and generally have a sweeter tooth, which can make dry wines unappealing to them.’

She said the hope is that once young drinkers are familiar with wine, they will then experiment with more traditional vintages.

A trend for beers with added spirits, such as Desperados and Rocks, is also fuelling the sugary drinks trend.

Desperados jumped from 77 to 59 in The Grocer’s Top 100 booze brands report in July thanks partly to new mojito and guarana variety beers. The third biggest ingredient after water and malted barley is glucose syrup.

At the same time Foster’s, which sells a sweet lager and cloudy lemon drink under the Radler brand, has high hopes for its rum-flavoured Rocks lager.

The Grocer said: ‘Contrary to what is going on in grocery in response to the sugar debate, calories are up in booze.’

It said Rocks contains 52 calories per 100ml, which is 30per cent more than the 40 in standard Foster’s lager. Desperados has 59 and Fruit Fusions has 72, which is much more than the 42 in Coke.

The Kantar data shows that the value of annual sales of drink to take home are up 1.8per cent to £11.8 billion, despite the fact the volume is down by 0.9per cent. This reflects the fact that the new products are more expensive.

For example, Desperados costs an average of £4.64 a litre, which is more than twice as much as any of the top five lagers. 

 

 

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