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In a move that may shock some in the industry, British soft drink makers Cawston Press are tackling the Government’s impending sugar levy head on to restore a good name for fizzy drinks. Bucking the common industry reformulation methods, they will use only pressed fruit juice to sweeten their sparkling drinks, despite fruit prices skyrocketing by more than 60%, due to late frosts and a poor harvest.


In the words of Cawston Press MD, Steve Kearns “In some cases we are upping the fruit juice content by up to 4 times per recipe. For a small company like ours, that’s an enormous investment. We know from our 30 years experience in pressing fruit that nature does it best and it’s a small price to pay to know we’re bringing the best quality, best tasting drinks to the market. We believe in what we are doing and are excited to be paving the way for the future of soft drinks.”


He continued: “Cawston Press was started because we were frustrated by the lack of good quality soft drinks made from simple, natural ingredients, without the preservatives and artificial nonsense that give fizzy drinks a bad name. We believe people deserve better and that hasn’t changed. Artificial sweeteners just aren’t us and mask the taste of our delicious ingredients. It seems a shame that despite many sectors in food and drink moving forward, for the most part soft drinks are still stuck in a time warp. We are proud to be doing things differently and showing the rest of the industry how it should be done.”


Launching in April, the new range will consist of sparkling Rhubarb, Cloudy Apple, Elderflower Lemonade and Ginger Beer. Cawston Press will be the only brand in the UK market to sweeten their ginger beer using only pressed juice.

Each of the new recipes will come in at under 90 calories, with 31% less total sugar[1] than before. Cawston Press have committed to cutting out a staggering 300 tonnes of sugar from the fizzy drinks they sell in the UK from April to December, this year alone[2].  

Kearns adds “Our recipes are just that – recipes, dreamed up in a kitchen, not an industrial lab. This range is simpler, crisper and drier and because we’ve added more fruit they’re even fuller flavoured than before. Our Ginger Beer has a fiery depth of flavour because we’ve used three different types of finest ginger root. Our Elderflower Lemonade is more fragrant and with pressed lemon juice, more zesty and refreshing. We’re giving consumers what they want; natural ingredients, delicious and exciting flavours but with less of the sugar.”


The new no sugar added recipe RRP will be £1.19 for a single 330ml can, £3.99 for a 4 x 330ml multipack. The range will be available to buy nationally from leading supermarkets including Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsburys, Ocado as well as leading health food shops, restaurants, cafés, pubs and delis.

[1] Based on average % total sugar difference across the 4 new recipe lines

[2] Based on predicted UK sales of Cawston Press sparkling range (1st April – 31st December 2018)

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