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LAUNCHES EQUATOR Beverage Brands has launched Equator, billed as “the fi rst drink in the UK that delivers 0% alcohol, 0% calories and 0% sugar with the quality, taste and appeal of a premium beer”. Aimed at health- and image-conscious consum-

ers that are looking for a healthier and more pre- mium alternative to alcohol, Equator has a smooth, clean, crisp and refreshing fl avour profi le and is packaged in 330ml bottles. The concept aims to create a point of

THE PERFECT CUP OF COFFEE Cup 2 is the second-generation model of the award winning, HACCP compliant, Melitta Cup, capable of producing up to 180 drinks per hour. This compact bean-to-cup machine has an eight-item menu, allowing scope for various espresso-based coffee specialities, as well as hot chocolate and hot water for tea. Because Cup 2 uses a freeze dried

milk rather than fresh, it does not require constant operator monitoring. Attention is needed only when the beans and other ingredients need to be replenished or the grounds discarded. If, at any time, an item runs out, it will not show on the menu and so cannot be selected. The step-by-step graphic instruction

display claims to be fool-proof, and a further display, accessible only to operators, generates alerts when containers need refi lling or other actions need to be taken.


Cream Supplies has launched two new fl avoured syrups in time for Easter. Hot Cross Bun Syrup

captures the fl avours and aromas of a hot cross bun oozing with melted butter. Using only natural ingredients, it is gently spiced, predominantly with cinnamon, and has hints of apple, dried fruit and orange zest. Easter Bunny Flavoured Syrup, meanwhile, is extremely chocolaty. The syrups can be used in

hot and cold beverages, or can be drizzled over desserts.


Front Row ale – a 3.7% beer – is returning to the Fuller’s squad and will be available throughout February and March in se- lected Fuller’s pubs. The light, ruby-coloured ale, with a deep, biscuity fl avour is designed to be enjoyed while watching a match. The beer was fi rst launched last year by front row rugby legend Phil Vickery. Fuller’s head brewer John Keeling said: “Front Row

is very drinkable and has a real fruity bitterness from the Challenger hops that we have included in the brew. Its ABV makes it a true session beer, perfect for enjoying a pint either side of half time.” Keeling also recently collaborated with Manches-

ter’s Marble Brewery, which specialises in using only organic and vegetarian ingredients. Head brewer James Campbell and Keeling created a 7.3% ABV bottle-conditioned Old Manchester Ale. “We agreed that the pairing of juicy malts and as-

sertive bitterness works really well. We set out to cre- ate a full-fl avoured yet quaffable ale,” said Campbell.

difference and add impetus to the grow- ing £32.8m no/low alcohol beer category. Brand support will include trial-generating promotional activity, a digital campaign, and consumer PR activity predominantly in men’s style, health and fi tness magazines, and slimming titles. Mark Hopper, head of innovation and de-

velopment at Beverage Brands, said: “The no/low alcohol beer category is buoyant and ripe for development. In the past year, 15m adults in the UK have consumed no/low al- cohol beers and sales in the on-trade have increased by 3.7%.”



Master brewers at Belhaven Brewery have launched a premium brew, Belhaven Black. Drawing on almost 300 years of heritage,

this new stout’s complex fl avour has been achieved with a blend of Scottish triple malts, which complement the distinctive hop character. At 4.2% ABV, Belhaven Brewery director

George Howell said the brew appeals to patrons looking for a premium pint with provenance and something different from the norm. He added that the quality stout provides publicans the perfect opportunity to give customers exactly what they want – more choice. “Local ingredients

are really important. We have used pure Scottish water and the best locally grown barley to craft Belhaven Black.” The launch is

supported by POS, including branded glassware, drip mats, bar runners and posters. It will be available in cask from June.


FIRST DRINKS First Drinks has announced that Central European Distribution Cor- poration’s (CEDC) international vodka brands Green Mark and Zu- browka are joining its portfolio. Green Mark is one of the top vodka brands in the world, with

annual sales of approximately 10m nine-litre cases worldwide. Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka is CEDC’s fl agship export brand. It

has a unique fl avour derived from bison grass, an aromatic plant found in Bialowieza in northeast Poland. Chris Mason, managing director of First Drinks, said: “We have a strong track record of building premi- um brands and have big ambitions for 2012 to be in the position to of- fer our customers the most desired portfolio of authentic vodka brands of any UK distributor.” CEDC’s Kauffman, an ultra pre-

mium vodka brand and the fi rst vintage vodka in the world, will also be joining the First Drinks portfolio this year.


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