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Ireland’s first low and no sugar campus emerges following Britvic Ireland and UCD collaboration

July 26, 2018 Industry News

During a seven week trial period, three-quarters of those who regularly purchased full sugar drinks didn’t notice they had been switched over to low and no sugar products.

18 July 2018 |

University College Dublin has become Ireland’s first exclusively low and no sugar campus, following a seven-week long pilot programme undertaken with drinks manufacturer Britvic Ireland.

The initiative, run in collaboration with the Healthy UCD committee, is the latest example of Britvic Ireland’s effort to partner with organisations to help consumers live healthier lives.

According to the company, the move ties in with a core goal within its sustainable business strategy, called ‘A Healthier Everyday’. Namely, motivating consumers to opt for healthier soft drinks by providing the most choice in the category. Previously, the group has worked with organisations such as Diabetes Ireland to ensure its MiWadi 0% Sugar brand can be universally enjoyed.

The initiative saw full-sugar sweetened drinks removed from UCD’s Belfield campus on a seven-week trial basis. After the trial, students and staff were surveyed to check whether they had noticed the switch. The survey results showed most students and staff switched to healthier alternatives without experiencing any impact on taste.

Three-quarters of those who regularly purchased full sugar drinks didn’t notice they had been switched over to low and no sugar products during this seven week period.

Britvic Ireland’s head of insight and category, Claire Cogan described the results as a “validation” of the company’s strategy. “The fact that students and staff switched so seamlessly to our low and no sugar alternatives serves as validation of our firm belief that it is possible to reduce and remove sugar-content from our range of products with absolutely no compromise on taste,” Cogan said.

Certainly, this is a welcome result for the company, given that today, over 75% of Britvic Ireland’s products are exempt from the government’s recently-introduced levy on sugar sweetened drinks due to their low sugar content. In fact, Britivic Ireland’s last 11 product launches have been low or no sugar drinks. These include brands such as Ballygowan Sparklingly Fruity, Club Zero Sugar and MiWadi 0% Sugar. What’s more, since 2013, Britvic Ireland has removed 1.3 billion calories from its product portfolio on an annualised basis and its reformulation efforts continue.

Achieving a healthier Ireland requires an holistic approach with all stakeholders playing their part,” Cogan said. “For our part, we are passionate about continuing to lead the industry by focusing our innovation on no and low sugar products and on working with our partners to nudge consumers towards healthier options while still providing choice.”

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