The new beverage has zero sugar and 56 calories, while delivering popular flavours from the On Trade.
- VK, the No.1 RTD brand (by both volume and value) in the UK On Trade,1 has launched a zero sugar, 56 calories range based on the much-loved originals.
- VK & SODA is a light and bubbly beverage with two fruity flavours – VK & SODA Berries, and VK & SODA Lime. The range has fewer calories than the primary VK range and zero sugar.
- VK & SODA is launching into venues stocking VK, including NUS venues, as well as into wholesalers for the On Trade. Consumers can also purchase VK & SODA direct, from Good Time In.
- The product delivers far more taste than traditional hard seltzers, while still delivering zero sugar – global sales of hard seltzer have reached $16.36bn,2 but UK sales lag behind at only £16.9m3 with lack of flavour being a clear barrier.
VK, the No.1 (by volume and value) RTD brand in the UK On Trade,4 and the No.1 RTD for students eight years running,5 is launching a brand-new zero sugar range across the UK.
The new range, VK & SODA, delivers on demand for zero sugar and lower calorie drinks,6 while retaining the flavourful and tasty essence of the original VK range, which includes VK Blue, VK Strawberry & Lime, VK Orange & Passion Fruit, VK Tropical Fruits, VK Apple & Mango, VK Watermelon, VK Black Cherry, and VK Raspberry & Peach.
VK & SODA is a light and bubbly drink with two fruity flavours available – VK & SODA Berries, and VK & SODA Lime. The varieties are based on two of the UK’s favourite drinks – ‘Blue’, the UK’s best-selling RTD flavour in alcopops,7 and vodka, lime, and soda, the classic ‘& soda’ bar call.8 Each VK & SODA contains 56 calories, fewer than the iconic VK range, and zero sugar.
VK & SODA Berries is a mouth-watering mix of lush berry flavours on top of crisp vodka, that captures the classic taste of the iconic VK Blue, with zero sugar, 56 calories and lots of party vibes.
VK & SODA Lime is the new and improved glow up of a night-out staple – the vodka, lime, and soda. A light and bubbly party starter, the VK & SODA Lime packs heaps of refreshing zesty lime flavour on top of crisp vodka.
The launch comes as CGA data reveals 84% of Gen Z consumers are looking for healthier options on menus when drinking out,9 and more consumers are generally looking for zero sugar and lower calorie drinks.6
Hard seltzers, the go-to lower calorie beverage in the USA, have fallen flat in the UK however – UK sales of hard seltzers lag behind the expanding global market,2 which hit $16.36bn3 in 2022, despite clear demand for zero sugar, lower calorie options from UK consumers – with lack of flavour being a key barrier.
Each VK & SODA contains zero sugar and 56 calories, but with zesty, fun flavour.
This flavourful innovation includes the use of a vodka base. While many hard seltzer brands opt for a fermented sugar base, VK & SODA uses a real vodka base, adding to that crisp and clean taste that consumers expect from vodka drinks.
The launch of VK & SODA is set to engage with RTD consumers, as well as attracting a rapidly expanding segment of consumers to the category that opt for beverages with fewer calories than typical RTDs and zero sugar.
The VK & SODA range is now available to the On Trade, at wholesalers stocking the VK range.
Charlie Leaver, Head of Brand at Global Brands Ltd, creators of VK: “VK & SODA is the pre-mixed drink delivering full flavour and a zesty, crisp taste, with 56 calories and zero sugar. Consumers can have the party vibes and fruitiness that come with a VK, with fewer calories than our iconic, No.1 drink for students.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to release this true innovation for the category – a product enticing the rapidly growing segment of health-conscious consumers, with the full flavour and taste that VK delivers.
“With Gen Z consumers looking for zero sugar and lower calorie options, ensuring that your premises provides this choice is vital to cross-selling existing customers and attracting a new segment to the growing RTD market.
“The variety of flavours in the VK range attracts and retains Gen Z consumers, with the typical flavour choice of an 18-24 consumer varying daily.10 Following our hugely successful rebrand last year, we’ve strengthened the identity of each flavour in the VK line-up, and have boosted the appeal of the range to Gen Z consumers with these exciting, proven favourite flavours.”
The consumer launch will be kicked off with the VK Refreshers Tour across 16 Universities through January and February, with each date giving students the chance to be amongst the first to try VK & SODA and take home prized VK Merch. This brand in hand experience of VK & SODA creates a buzz and excitement in venue and across campus.
VK & SODA Berries and VK & SODA Lime are available in 275ml PET and glass bottles, and have an ABV of 3.4%.
1 – CGA MAT P11 2022
2 – Statista Hard Seltzer Worldwide Data 2022
3 – Nielsen (Mults & Impulse 52 w/e 30/03/2022)
4 – CGA MAT P11 2022
5 – NUS Drink Tracker 2021
6 – Beverage Daily, 2017: Health-conscious millennials turn to zero-calorie drinks
7 – CGA Data 2022
8 – BlackTailNYC 2022
9 – CGA Food Insights 2021
10 – Food Business News 2019: Next-gen flavours in focus