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Lasco launches new 50% less sugar iCool juice drinks

Observer Business Writer

Friday, September 13, 2019

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Lasco has launched a new 50 per cent less sugar juice drink under its iCool brand, which can now be marketed to schools, where a ban was imposed over a year now on sugary drink within certain limits.

Lasco Manufacturing, through its iCool brand, has reduced the sugar content from 19 grams per serving in the regular iCool drink to 10 grams per serving in the iCool reduced-sugar juice drink. This would equate to four grams of sugar per 100 millilitre (ml) and 9.6 grams of sugar per 240 ml serving.

Founder and Executive Chairman of Lasco Lascelles Chin, who launched the new iCool 50 per cent less sugary drink, noted that the reduced sugary content complies with the Ministry of Health guidelines for beverages allowed in schools up to 2021.

Speaking with The Caribbean Business Report at the end of the launch at the Terra Nova All-Suites Hotel in Kingston yesterday, Chin indicated that Lasco would be wasting no time in marketing this new brand of iCool juice drinks to schools. This is as a result of the stamp of approval from the Ministry of Health.

Chin said the iCool reduced-sugar juice drink will be available in four flavours; fruit punch, melon berry, grape and guava pine. The Lasco boss pointed out that, “other flavours are in the pipelined to be launched later this year. “They are all good tasting, excellent products and true to the Lasco ethos of very affordable.”

When the Caribbean Business Report questioned Chin about whether there would be a difference in the price, he stated: “the price will remain the same”. In response to more questions, Chin admitted that both the regular iCool juice drink and the 50 per cent reduced-sugar iCool juice drink would be sold together, indicating that there are no plans to phase out the regular iCool juice drinks with the new reduced-sugar ones.

The new reduced-sugar iCool products are packaged in an environmentally friendly PET (plastic) bottle and contain 330ml liquid, which is the smaller bottle. Chin admitted to the Caribbean Business Report that Lasco went out to produce first the reduced-sugar iCool juice drink in the smaller bottle to specifically market to schools and children.

“It is made for schools but it is available publicly, which is in all supermarkets now” was Chin's response to questions about the target market for these reduced sugar juice drink products. To reduce the environmental impact, Lasco has light-weighted the bottles from 19.5 grams to 13.8 grams.

Chin boasted about the new juice drink variant, which he said is a refreshing and healthier drink alternative. He cited at yesterday's (September 12) launch of the reduced sugar juice drinks as “a continuation of the strides being made by Lasco in reducing the sugar content of its liquid and powdered line of beverages and the new line of juice drinks.”

The Lasco founder pointed out that in the powdered and liquid segment of the business, the company introduced two reduced sugar variants of its flagship Lasco powdered food drink, namely Lasco vanilla and Lasco creamy malt, which both have 50 per cent less sugar than the standard products.

Chin disclosed that “a third reduced sugar variant will be added to the range later this year.

“These achievements are the result of long and careful research and development work by the company. We are especially proud that LascO has been able to reduce the sugar content, while maintaining the same rich Lasco taste and flavours Jamaicans enjoy and have come to expect from Lasco,” Chin added.

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, who also spoke at the launch, lauded Lasco for its drive in delivering healthier products to its consumers, while responding to the health-conscious trend, which his ministry is promoting in Jamaica.

Chairing the launch was Danielle Cunningham, who is the marketing manager, beverage at Lasco.

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