UK – Britvic, Hemel Hempstead based producer of soft drinks has unveiled a line of new sparkling water, Aqua Libra, a range which falls way below the new sugar levy threshold.

The company said all the new flavors contain no added sugar or artificial flavourings, in line with the recently enacted sugar levy legislation in the UK.

The UK sugar tax, which came into force on April 6, is said to have pushed up the price of sugar-sweetened soft drinks across Britain, and according to FoodIngredientsFirst, 50% of manufacturers have already reduced the sugar content of their drinks.

The sugar tax has two tiers, a lower rate of 18 pence per liter for beverages with total sugar content between 5-8g per 100ml and a higher price of 24 pence per liter for drinks with total sugar more than 8g per 100ml.

The levy applies to any soft drink with an alcoholic content lower than 1.2% ABV that is ready-to-drink or ready-to-dilute, and that is packaged for sale.

Each can have three calories or below, offering health-conscious consumers the perfect solution for a refreshing uplift.

“In soft drinks, Aqua Libra is the perfect choice for those who often prioritise health, but want bubbles with taste without the sugary sweetness of other soft drinks.

“With huge growth opportunities expected for the booming water plus category, which is currently worth US$101.3 million, as health remains high on the agenda for so many consumers now and in years to come, stocking a range of innovative waters such as Aqua Libra presents retailers with a great way to tap into the health trend and drive sales,” said Britvic commercial director of convenience and impulse Trystan Farnworth.

In February, Britvic announced a US$123.5 million in its Rugby facility, increasing its production capacity with three new production lines.

This forms part of the company’s expansion strategy where it plans to invest a total of US$296.7 million in the UK for the next three years.