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Kopparberg owners create low sugar, alcohol-infused sparkling water brand

The producer of Swedish cider brand Kopparberg has launched an “alcohol-infused sparkling water” brand in the UK’s retail sector to capitalise on the growth of low-sugar drinks.

Balans, which comes in two flavours (Mandarin and Lime) is produced in a similar way to cider, fermented from an apple juice base to break down sugar into alcohol, which provides a “low-calorie alcohol base,” according to the brand. A  combination of apple juice and cane sugar are added after fermentation alongside natural fruit flavourings.

The RTD cans will go on sale in ASDA for a 12 week trial period from 7 February, and will be available in Tesco stores from 1 April, retailing at £1.70 per 250ml can, or 4 x 250ml for £5.00.

The launch comes just under a month after Kopparberg’s cider products were criticised by shadow culture secretary Tom Watson for their high sugar content.

Watson called the high sugar levels in ciders like Kopparberg and their lack of labelling a “public health scandal” when he shared an article outlining the dosage of popular supermarket beverages published by the MailOnline in the run-up to Christmas. A 500ml bottle of Kopparberg contains around 53 grams of sugar.

“I love a drink but…THIRTEEN teaspoons of sugar. Almost DOUBLE the maximum recommended daily intake for an adult,” he said. “In ONE glass.”

“That’s @KopparbergUK cider, 500ml. The fact no labelling is required makes this a public health scandal.”

Despite being a “fairly new entrant” to the category, sales fruit-flavoured ciders have grown by more than 330% in the past 12 years, currently accounting for just over a quarter (27%) of the whole sector’s sales, according to the 2018 Westons Cider report. Researchers believe fruit ciders will make up 50% of the overall market by 2023.

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