- Kolibri Drinks has collaborated with glass packaging specialists Beatson Clark to design and launch a bottle that lets consumers control the amount of sugar in their drink, according to Nutrition Insight.
- The drink does not have sugar added. Instead, it is stored in the bottle cap so consumers can choose the level of sweetness they want for their beverage. The company states that nectar can be added to the drink and blended without shaking,
- The sugar combines agave, apple and caramel. Flavors for Kolibri Drinks include Elderflower & Lime, Strawberry & Basil and Cardamom & Chilli.
Sugar should be sweet, but its reputation is continuing to sour as more consumers look to reduce their sugar intake with natural alternatives and limited or no added sugar.
Mintel estimated 84% of Americans said they are limiting the amount of sugar in their diet, and 79% check labels for the types of sugar or sweetener used. This trend is not only at the consumer level. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also is taking an active role, requiring that added sugars be listed on product packaging as part of the updated Nutrition Facts label. The compliance date has been pushed back, but for now, large manufacturers will have to start declaring them starting in 2020. Similarly, in the U.K. where Kolibri Drinks are produced, the long-awaited sugar tax went into effect April 6 and has already resulted in a big drop in the amount of sugar in certain products.
Kolibri Drinks are coming into this environment with an innovative solution to give consumers the autonomy to add in sugar exactly to their tastes, an idea likely aimed at millennials. As the largest living generation in U.S. history, this group tends to experiment with foods and beverages and aren't as loyal to brands as other age groups, studies have found. If a product is fresher, healthier and more convenient, or they find a new brand that appeals to them, they may be more likely to switch.
Kolibri has a good chance of attracting curious customers to at least try their product by allowing individuals to craft their own beverages. That being said, while millennials like innovation, they also value grab-and-go convenience, which the new bottles are not. They require time — albeit not much — to find the ideal taste level. The increase in delivery service and meal kits speak to the hurriedness with which this generation seems to consume the majority of their sustenance.
This vogue style of eating has, however, had interesting repercussions. Because of the nature of food on-the-go, sustainable and premium packaging has become one of the topics du jour. According to a Nielsen survey from 2015, 66% of millennials say they’re willing to pay more for sustainable products. In an appeal to the premium but responsible aesthetic, Kolibri worked with Beatson Clark’s glassworks in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, U.K., to create a cone-shaped 300-milliliter white flint flask made from 30% recycled glass.
While this concept could easily be positioned in the cocktail market where craft is king, it would also be an idea that other companies could take advantage of. From probiotics to additional citrus to salt content, perhaps allowing the customer to regulate their own consumption of these hot-button ingredients will engender a new conception of what conscientious eating means. In a world where customizability and curation are buzz words that garner hype, this type of customizability may also be a good marketing tool for CPG companies who are looking to regain market share.