A new cola drink that will to go head to head with heavyweights Coca-Cola and Pepsi, especially in bars and clubs, is being test marketed after almost a year of development.
The drink, called Altú Black -- which takes its name from the Portugese word for peak -- is being positioned as a premium cola by its developer Nutrinnovator, because of what it claims is the drink's superior quality and taste. The drink also contains no artificial sweeteners.
Despite entering a category which has for decades been dominated by only two major players, the company believes the drink will change consumer perceptions about the taste of cola. "There is an opportunity to launch a cola using the finest ingredients that will deliver a healthier product that is low in sugar and without artificial sweeteners," says Nutrinnovator marketing director Fiona Vigar.
Nutrinnovator employed the services of taste and aroma specialist Thornton Mustard to develop a flavour that would rival that of brands such as Coca-Cola.
According to Mustard, Altú Black takes its influence from soft drinks such as Orangina and Coca-Cola, but blends the two drinking experiences. It has the immediacy and stimulating effect on the mouth that a citrus drink such as Orangina delivers, but is also stimulating and indulgent like traditional colas, he says.
Ingredients used to create the final profile include root ginger, coriander, orange oil, cloves, vanilla, raisins and nutmeg. "We used citrus fruits for the initial impact and dry fruit for the heart of the drink as it leaves a clean aftertaste," says Mustard. "Spices help with the aggression of the drink and bolster its taste in the middle of the mouth."
The drink, which contains 30% less sugar than standard colas, takes its sweetness from fructose. While it has fewer calories it has none of the taste of a diet drink. According to Mustard, the flavour can be tasted without being either overpowered by sugar or by the aftertaste of sweeteners.
Altú Black is being targeted at bars -- where its less sweet profile makes for a better mixer with spirits -- but is also being sold to the off-trade.