Coming Soon: 7Up Plus: Mixed Berry

Looks like a new low-carb related beverage is arriving from the folks who make 7Up (which is Cadbury Schweppes). The product is called 7Up Plus. It’s officially rolling out August 28.

7Up Plus: Mixed Berry - Official Image

Some info I was able to find about the new beverage…

Official “spin”:

7 UP PLUS, a new carbonated beverage, is making a splash this month and will lead an entirely new category of beverages – the PLUS category. Made with real fruit juice, calcium and vitamin C, and sweetened with SPLENDA(R) brand sweetener, 7 UP PLUS will provide an ‘UP’ lifting beverage experience for those looking for both nutrients and fun in their bubbles. With a berry hue and mixed-berry flavor, 7 UP PLUS will not only tickle taste buds but will be a great option for women who are looking to achieve more balance in their own and their families’ lives.

Review by a beverage trade publication:

7 UP Plus is simply the original with 5% fruit juice, added vitamins, and sucralose and ace-k sweeteners. The additions make a world of difference. 7 UP Plus’s mild berry flavor has minimal aftertaste and is extremely refreshing. With only 10 calories per 8 ounces, 7 UP Plus completely blows away the low carb offerings from Coke and Pepsi. The packaging for 7 UP Plus does well to distinguish itself from the original by prominently displaying the word “PLUS”. Overall, this is definitely one of the best entries from Dr Pepper / 7 UP in recent memory.

Commentary by a business publication:

Is 7-Up’s New Drink a Plus?
Wednesday August 18, 10:46 am ET
By Rich Duprey

Apparently the carbonated beverage crowd thinks that when it comes to carbs, some are better than none. First Pepsi and Coca-Cola tried to outdo each other with low-carb drinks that at once left a powerful aftertaste and were of higher carb count than their diet iterations. In Coke’s case, Diet Coke was the one beverage that was actually gaining market share but is now competing against itself with the company’s low-carb C2.

Not to be left behind, Cadbury Schweppes, the maker of 7-Up, is jumping into the fray with its own brand of low-carb “Un-Cola” called 7-Up PLUS, a fruity mix that will include fruit juice, calcium, and vitamin C and will be sweetened with the artificial sweetener Splenda. It will also sport 2 grams of carbs. Apparently rejiggering the Diet 7-Up line with 0 carbs was not considered.

A national advertising campaign will roll out in October geared toward women and will include Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa from “Live with Regis and Kelly,” along with stars from the “Sex in the City” show. The drink is angling to give new meaning to “girlie drinks.”…

7-Up PLUS will stand out from C2 and Pepsi’s Edge by having significantly lower carb counts in addition to being fluorescent pink in color. The latter two have 12 and 13 grams of carbs, respectively, and retain their dark caramel hue. Cadbury will also be heavily promoting its old reliable low-carb drink, Diet Rite, which without any reformulations also has only 2 carbs.

Coke, Pepsi, and Cadbury control more than 60% of the nonalcoholic beverage market in the U.S. Sales have been anemic in the U.S., and this has caused the companies to push sales harder overseas and to come up with marketing gimmicks at home. Whether it’s been Vanilla Coke, Pepsi Blue, or 7-Up PLUS, the trick has been to get individual segments to move; the overall standings change at a glacial pace.

Even if it is supposedly healthier, containing “actual nutrients,” according to Cadbury, the pink color and the emphasis on women will probably limit the drink’s upside potential. 7-Up PLUS might just be a minus.

I’ll be watching for this beverage and will provide a full review once I track it down.