Retail Chef_Slo Jo 1 Johannesburg based beverage supplier Slo-Jo has launched a new range of powdered drinks with no added sugar or Aspartame. The range will be available in three on-trend flavours from September – Chocolate Decadence, Chai, and Coffee Freezo. Depending on the flavour, the powders can made into a crush by blending it with ice, or a hot drink by adding to steamed milk.

Slo-Jo has also introduced two new sugar-free ice tea options in Peach and Lemon flavours, the two most-loved ice tea flavours among South Africans. These contain no added Aspartame or cane sugar, with just 16 kilojoules per 350ml serving.

“Consumers are changing the way they look at sugar and are becoming more aware of the impact sugar has on the mind and body,” says Chrissy Beedle, Executive Manager of Research and Product Development at Slo-Jo. “We developed these products in response to the wave of health consciousness taking place in South Africa at the moment.”

Following global sugar shortages as well as the sugar tax recently tabled in South Africa, the Slo-Jo no-sugar-added powder range and sugar-free ice teas are ideal alternatives for consumers looking to limit their sugar intake.

A recent survey by MullenLowe Oil conducted among 110 Woolworths, Tasha’s and Mugg & Bean customers shows that 32% of South African consumers read the labels on products before buying, in order to find out how much sugar is contained in the product. Additional insights of relevance from the survey include:

  • Nearly 50% of respondents were able to correctly identify the meaning of the term ‘sugar-free’, acknowledging that this means the product may contain artificial sweeteners – 24% said they would choose a sugar-free option over other variants.
  • Almost two thirds of respondents understood that the term ‘no added sugar’ means that the products contains only those sugars found naturally in the ingredients.
  • Black and fRetail Chef_Slo Jo 2emale consumers, as well as those within the 24-34 age bracket demonstrated the highest awareness of sugar consumption compared to other demographics.
  • Unsurprisingly, taste trumps health considerations, with 69% of respondents saying that flavour most influences their decisions when choosing a smoothie, ‘cino or crusher drink.
  • Women, in particular, opt for smoothies over fizzy drinks. Over a third of female respondents believe smoothies contain less sugar than fizzy alternatives.
  • More than 80% of respondents claimed to be ice tea drinkers, with 71% of them preferring still over sparkling.
  • Peach and lemon were the most popular flavours of ice tea, ranking at 65% and 62% respectively. Findings also showed that these flavours are preferred among more mature markets.
  • Consumers regard ‘craft’ or artisanal products highly – 29% believed this means the product is made locally, with more attention given to quality than mass produced beverages.

 “We developed the no-sugar-added range of powders as well as the sugar-free ice teas to give consumers a low-kilojoule, guilt-free drink they can enjoy,” says Beedle. “We know that taste is the most important consideration when choosing a drink, and we’re proud to introduce consumers to products that offer the best of both worlds.”