With a family history of farming in the North East of Scotland going back at least three centuries and careers in New Product Development, we found ourselves wondering what sector needed development. A love of berries took us into fruit followed by soft drinks.
At home we have the soils, and long cool summer days to make great juice but real dedication is necessary to capture the perfect flavour. This was acknowledged with the Best Drink accolade in the Food from Scotland Excellence Awards when we launched in 1998.
The first 3 years saw us fight a losing battle with deer; they liked to eat our trees. Now we are all deer-fenced – hallelujah! So from planting wild flower strips, to hand weeding there is always plenty to do. The creative challenge is to package and work with outlets, to deliver the benefits of the berries to a wider audience.
Our product, Bouvrage Raspberry Drink has a whole pound of Scottish raspberries with sparkling water and only 4% raw cane sugar in each 750ml bottle. To meet the demand for no added sugar, we introduced the value priced pure juice & water combination drinks, – the Berried range, again all Scottish grown. We also make Angus Apples juice, from apples grown in the beautiful gardens of Angus.
We attend events such as food shows and farmers markets, T in the Park and The Ryder Cup. Some of the most prestigious outlets and caterers specify Bouvrage.
In recent times, we think there may be change afoot. Perhaps rising confidence on the back of the national question along with a greater interest in health has prompted thinking harder about what is eaten or drunk.
Dry Bars have prospered in some English cities and abroad. Mitchells & Butlers say 65% of their drink sales in the Harvester chain are non-alcoholic. 1 in 5 of us say we don’t drink alcohol. There are plenty interesting products out there. With soft drinks made with homegrown ingredients from companies such as Scottish Cordials, Highland Cordials, and Wild and Scottish.
Many consumers want to see sustainable horticulture supporting a healthier population. Key ingredients are healthy components in the diet. Furthermore, they are much less sweet than the imported smoothies or traditional minerals. As such, they are pleasant to drink with or without food over an evening.
Ultimately what consumers really want is for pubs, restaurants, cafes and retail to offer a decent choice of Scottish non-alcoholic drinks. Hopefully we can further contribute towards this.
Written by Bouvrage. Follow them on twitter @bouvrage
Scottish non-alcoholic drinks producers include:
Ella Drinks: www.bouvrage.com
Scottish Cordials: www.pickledinscotland.co.uk
Highland Cordials: www.highlandcordials.co.uk
Wild and Scottish: www.wildandscottish.co.uk
Summerhouse Drinks: www.summerhousedrinks.com