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We meet lots of resistance daily from our cafe owners, hotel F&B managers, local coffeeshop bosses and restaurant managers whenever we explain the need for them to catch on to this low sugar trend which is here to stay.

“Is there a ready market for low sugar drinks?” They asked.

We run into their many concerns, which needless to say, this post will settle all at one go. Number one rule of Ren’s Palate is to serve before we sell. Our goals are simply to make people understand the market for health must be acted upon as soon as possible. Law of nature rules all markets!

Case Study 1: 70 Retail Outlets places regular Water Chestnut side by side with low sugar Water Chestnut drink

Before we started this project to test the market for reduced sugar readiness, our client above was apprehensive in many ways.

Questions: Isn’t it risky to try out reduced sugar version on an existing bestseller flavour….

What if the new version distracts my regulars and does not attract new consumers? What if my existing regular stocks gets piled up while the new reduced sugar stocks does not move as quickly? The older generation prefers sweet drinks, no matter what!

Our First Answer: Never Let Your Fears Stop Your Business From Growing!

Why do we recommend trying out on the bestseller flavour first?

There is a chinese saying which goes ” An ice wall of 3M high, can never be due to 1 day of snow”. We know that once there is a very stable base of customers who is in love with one particular brand of a certain flavour, it is almost impossible for a new version to impact on the existing base which has stood the test of time and taste. Hence, the safest way to try out low sugar versions will be to start on the most popular flavour as no matter what happens, there will be loyal regulars who will stick with your brand.

Our Second Answer: Low Sugar Drinks Does Not Mean Bland Tasteless Drinks!

In our work, we understand the challenge of the age-old mindset that no sugar means zero sweetness. Hence, with the rates of diabetes climbing in this part of the South-east Asia – Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, there’s been industry efforts to promote natural sweetness with natural sugar replacements like stevia-based sweeteners.

Sharing healthier sweetness is a lifelong goal for us at Ren’s Palate (read why we start this) so we are excited and anxious to enable all HORECA partners to put healthier sweetness on their menu. So how do we tackle the mindset from young and old that no sugar means no sweetness?

SAMPLE! Small action, big impact. Let the taste solve the problem in question. And we check out the results right now.

Low Sugar Options in Multitude of Flavours

How did the low sugar Water Chestnut fare? Did it measure up or did it make the existing regular Water Chestnut drink fall in sales?

In this case study, we had to do a double take when we compared the results after 4 months of launching this identical-looking Water Chestnut bottled drink (save for a Healthier Choice logo that is lacking on the other bottle). The results were pleasantly shocking, to say the least.

Not only did the low sugar version not “eat” into the regular customers, it actually sold so well that in a short period of 4 months, we can see the numbers creeping up to the same monthly volume as that of the regular sugared version!

What does this mean?

This case-in-point disproves what all cafe owners, drink shop sellers have been FEARING – that there is no general market in the low sugar drinks. Now we know for a fact, there is a HUGE untapped market in low sugar products!

With the low sugar tax going to implement next month in Malaysia, it is a no brainer that all food businesses can profit from having a new range of low sugar drinks, alongside or in replacement of their regular flavours.

We cannot resist a taunt at this point of time:

What are you waiting for? To pay more sugar tax than the rest?

Naughty me. In reality to come, I hope this light-hearted sharing can propel you towards embracing low sugar options for your food and beverage businesses as not only is it profitable, more importantly, this is the way to love your family, friends and country. Nothing is worth more than good health in a place we call home.

Learn more about how our Case Study 2 principal Brand owners made their franchisees happy. We experienced a 180 degrees turn of moods as the initial idea was met by a fully resistant, unwilling group of cafe owners… to be continued!