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Jelly Drops tackling dehydration

Specialised nutrition startup Jelly Drops makes small jelly drops that contain 95% water and added electrolytes and vitamins to combat dehydration among elderly people and those with dementia ….

Founder and CEO of the UK company Lewis Hornby came up with the idea for the product after his grandmother Pat, who had dementia, was struggling to stay hydrated.

He spent 18 months developing and testing the product in close consultation with doctors and speech and language therapists before it launched.

The jelly drops are made from 95% water and are flavoured with natural fruit flavourings and colours and sweetened with sucralose.

“We wanted the product to be sugar-free as oral hygiene is also a key consideration,” Hornby told Ingredients Network. “We found sucralose to be the best sweetener to produce a delicious product – this is key to user engagement.”

Jelly Drops recently began fortifying its drops with electrolytes and vitamins B6, B9, and B12, which allows the company to make a number of health claims: these nutrients contribute to normal cognitive and mental performance and help maintain a normally functioning immune system.

According to the company, the product effectively tackles a major struggle of those living with dementia and their carers; the website lists reviews from relatives and carers who describe how the product has reduced the need for hospitalisation due to severe dehydration or the use of expensive IV drips in the home.

Designed to reduce dehydration among those with dementia

There are a number of reasons why elderly people may not stay sufficiently hydrated, such as an inability to hold cups or not equating the feeling of thirst with drinking.

To combat this, Jelly Drops’ small format and vibrant colours are designed to appeal to people living with dementia. The drops have a solid texture that is similar to trifle jelly and they are very easy to chew, unlike other jelly-type sweets such as jelly beans or wine gums. (They are not recommended for people who have difficulties swallowing).

One pack of six drops contains 300ml of water.

The startup has both a consumer-facing range available to buy via its online shop and it delivers throughout the UK, US, and Canada, with plans to launch in other European countries in 2024. It also has a B2B range and supplies bulk orders to businesses in the health and care sectors, such as care homes and hospitals.

Credit: © Jelly Drop

The company, which first launched Jelly Drops in the UK in 2020, has won a number of awards for the product, including from the Meaning-Centred Design Awards, National Dementia Care Awards, Imagine If Innovation Forum, and the Stephen Lloyd Awards, which support community interest companies.

It also donates 1% of profits from every box sold to the Alzheimer’s Society.

Jelly Drops’ full ingredient list is: water (95%), maltodextrin, gelling agents (gellan gum, xanthan gum, locust bean gum, acacia gum, agar), sodium citrate, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, natural flavourings, colours (curcumin, concentrated carrot extract), flavour enhancers (lactic acid, malic acid, citric acid), sweetener (sucralose), preservatives (potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate), vitamin b6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), folic acid, vitamin b12 (cyanocobalamin).

Ingredients Network