Founder Steph Buttery at the British Soft Drinks Conference

This event was kind of a massive deal for our start-up. Our founder, Steph Buttery, speaking at the 2022 UK Soft Drinks Conference amongst so many influential people in the beverage industry… pinch us!

We’ve taken away so much from this event (besides lots of free samples); with big brands like Kantar, Coca Cola, Britvic, ASDA and Innocent present, there was definitely a lot to learn.

So, let’s dive into it…

2022 British Soft Drinks Conference schedule

1. "Draught" Soft Drinks Could be the New Premium

Having soft drinks “on draught” could be a more environmentally friendly option. It would be fresher and likely to taste better, since there’s no transporting of water. In places where glasses are available e.g. pubs and restaurants (rather than takeaways that use disposable cups) it saves a lot of waste (i.e. plastic bottles) or energy (e.g. recycling cans). 

This is something big companies like Coca Cola have been pushing for a while, as to reduce drinks packaging. So, we need to stop looking at soft drinks dispensers as “cheaper” or “less premium” when we view draught beers as more premium! Both are better options for the environment. 

Companies like London Essence are already paving the way with premium soft drinks dispensers that save on waste and energy!

So, stay tuned for “Chu Lo on Draught” I guess…

Chu Lo Drinks Dispenser Concept

Just an idea! Let us know if you want it to become a reality!

2. Deposit Return Scheme

Woman at reverse vending machine

You may have heard this scheme as it’s already happening in Germany. Basically, you pay more for your drinks, but get some money back when you return them to be recycled (e.g., to a reverse vending machine – like you might have seen happening in Germany).  

Amazingly, it’s coming to Scotland next year and England the year after!  

3. HFSS

Being categorised High in Fat, Salt and Sugar (or HFSS) is something that affects the food and beverage industry as it means your product cannot be advertised to children under the age of 16 if your product is high in fat, sugar, or salt.

HFSS is something we’ve been thinking about for a while. We already have reduced sugar compared to alternatives, but we want to make sure our drinks are as healthy as they can be without their compromising taste! 

So, after some playing with the recipe, you’ll be glad to know that Chu Lo’s upcoming new recipe will be not be HFSS!  

4. Additive Drinks

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by innocent (@innocent)

People want something that packs a healthy punch – like vitamins and minerals. This is why brands like innocent and Get More Vits are doing so well!

Brands like Ful and Mude are coming up with completely unique concepts and flavours when it comes to soft drinks. Ful is made from Spirulina, a blue-green algae that’s very nutritious. Mude boasts a natural drink with organic botanicals that enhance your moods: from helping you relax and unwind, to boosting your energy!

Ful drinks on a table at the 2022 British Soft Drinks Conference beside Chu Lo cans and other soft drinks brands like Coca Cola

Although Chu Lo doesn’t have additives, Chu Lo is a carbonate which has been shown to enhance digestion by improving swallowing ability and reduce constipation! You can read more benefits from industry leader Sodastream here

We’re also Japanese-inspired, and want keep the authentic Japanese chūhai flavour (without the alcohol, of course!). 

5. Innovative Flavours

This is something ASDA really emphasised at the UK Soft Drinks Conference. It’s clear that classic flavours can get boring, and people want something that’s unique and will catch their eye. Big brands like Coca Cola and innocent have been coming up with new twists on their classic flavours to keep people coming back to them! For example, Coca Cola’s limited-edition drink, Intergalactic, which is meant to be an unique twist on the classic Coca Cola flavour.

Since our goal is to get everyone saying “sour-nara” to boring sodas, we can definitely get behind the need for innovation in the soft drinks industry. So, if you want innovative flavours and branding… look no further! 

You can read more about what makes us stand out in our post Chu Lo vs Japanese Sodas

Chu Lo Drinks cans on a table at the 2022 British Soft Drinks Conference

6. Bigger Packs are More sOUGHT aFTER

According to ASDA, no one wants four packs – we want bigger packs or bigger bottles to enjoy our drinks longer. Which is something Chu Lo is definitely ahead of the trend on! You can get Chu Lo is packs of 6, 12 or 24! 

What do you think of these insights – do you agree? What do you want to see more or less on in the drinks industry? Tell us by leaving a reply!

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