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Published in Convenience World, August 2017. By Hailey Settineri.

Small-to-medium manufacturers have been quick to respond to consumers’ shift towards better-for-you alternatives and functional beverages. Herbal Fix has put a modern twist on the traditional carbonated beverage, making sure its drinks offer a lighter fizz without the artificial ingredients, colours or processed sugars.

The brand was launched about 18 months ago after four years of planning. Herbal Fix’s aim was to produce a broad range of great-tasting, effective herbal beverages designed to complement healthy lifestyles.

Herbal Fix Marketing Manager, Maria Kavadas, says herbs contain a large number of naturally occurring substances that have biological activity and compounds from plants.

“Herbal remedies have been successfully used for thousands of years and are still the first choice in many cultures,” she told Convenience World. “We’ve committed to ongoing research and development into herbal ingredients and will continue to explore the needs of consumers and the trends of the market.”

Herbal Fix is distributed to more than 600 7-Eleven stores, EzyMart, selected IGA supermarkets and more than 200 independents.

Ms Kavadas says P&C customers are becoming more attuned to making impulse buys, giving new brands the opportunity for discovery.

“Unlike the grocery channel, where consumers tend to make purchase decisions in a habitual way, P&C outlets give consumers access to a ‘grab and go’ refreshment the tends to consumers’ growing demand for a healthier alternative with added benefits,” she said.

“For example, by having Herbal Fix available in 7-Eleven stores, operators give their customers the opportunity to choose a higher quality product in an innovative a secure way, giving health-conscious customers the convenience they need, while appealing to their health & wellness lifestyle.

“This gives P&C retailers the competitive advantage they need, while giving consumers a beverage that not only tastes great and quenches thirst, has low calories, no processed sugars or artificial ingredients, but also actively delivers the functionality they want, the herbal/natural way.”

Herbal Fix has variants that sit well within the energy and sports-drinks category – Active offers an energy boost, while Shape contains creatine and carnitine to support exercise performance. It also has a broader functional-beverage offering with drinks claimed to support focus, relaxation, beauty and love – each with unique flavour profiles.

“Quirky product attributes and variations have precedence over the traditional,” Ms Kavadas said. “That’s why we’ve chosen to invest in analysing our flavours and have consciously created the unusual flavours of Dragonfruit & Strawberry, Guarana & Banana, and Mango, which are flavour profiles new to market.”

Thanks to Herbal Fix, says Ms Kavadas Aussies can enjoy something “nutritious and delicious” without artificial ingredients, colours, processed sugars, and with only 65 calories per 300ml serve.

“The ingredients in Herbal Fix are also 90 per cent sourced from Aussie shores, so we take pride in the fact that we are Australian made and owned, something I think many Aussies appreciate.”