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Innocent Bubbles

UK’s Innocent launches sparkling water

Innocent Bubbles, a blend of sparkling water and natural fruit juice, is aimed at consumers seeking an alternative to sugary soft drinks.

The product was first mooted seven years ago, according to Douglas Lamont, the Innocent Smoothies chief executive, but the company only recently discovered the ideal technical process to manufacture the drinks, which come in two flavours: tropical, and lemon, lime and apple.

“People said it wasn’t possible but we’ve done it, without using concentrate,” he said, adding that it differed from other flavoured waters and low-fat drinks on the market because “they are made with water, fruit and nothing else”.

The launch follows Coca-Cola’s latest successor to its original recipe, Coca-Cola Life, which is part-sweetened with stevia, a natural alternative to sugar.

Innocent Bubbles will launch nationwide in Starbucks outlets, and will also be sold in WH Smith and Boots. “We’re launching it as an on-the-go proposition,” said Lamont, who took over from the three Innocent founders two years ago.

“This is the essential first step but we are also talking to the supermarkets and other retailers.”

Innocent Coconut WaterInnocent Smoothies has also released a coconut water to compete with Vita Coco and the growing number of coconut water start-ups. The product is “selling well”, claimed Lamont.

“We have marketing capital to invest in the coconut water, which will help us compete with rivals. There’s a lot of headroom for growth as the market penetration in the UK is only 2pc compared with 9pc in the US.”

The product launches will help Innocent Smoothies turn over £250m this financial year, up from £215.5m in 2013.

There are a number of other products in the development pipeline, Lamont said. The company is now focusing entirely on drinks after withdrawing its noodle pots from the market.

The pots, launched in 2008, will disappear from shelves by May this year after sales of the range fell 25.5pc to £11.2m last year. “We couldn’t roll them out across Europe,” said Lamont.

“It wasn’t worth the time and effort when there are so many growth opportunities in drinks.”

Source: The Telegraph