Norwegian soft drinks manufacturer Lerum is launching a new range of no-added-sugar dilutable fruit drinks sweetened with SPLENDA® Sucralose. This new range will be marketed under the Lerum No Sugar Added range and will be available in approximately 90% of all leading Norwegian retail outlets from May 2006. The range comes in three flavours – mixed fruit (apple, pear, cherry and grapes), raspberry and grape, and orange.

This new product range gives consumers the opportunity to enjoy the full fruit flavour of the popular Lerum brand with far fewer calories and no added sugar. Thanks to the zero-calorie properties of SPLENDA® Sucralose, the final beverage contains only 12 kcal per 100cl, which come from the fruit itself.

Lerum is Norway’s number one manufacturer of fruit drinks; having produced fruit drinks and jams for over 100 years, they are also a key own-label supplier to Norwegian supermarkets. Tate & Lyle worked closely with Lerum to develop this unique new range of no-added sugar beverages with 97% pure fruit content and no added sugar.

“We were keen to use SPLENDA® Sucralose in the new no-added-sugar Lerum range because we knew it would enable us to take out the added sugar, as required for our light range, and still retain the great fruity taste our customers expect from our brand”, says Jan Petter Vadheim, managing director of the Lerum companies.

“Because SPLENDA® Sucralose is made from sugar and tastes like sugar, it was always our sweetener of choice. In addition, we knew that Tate & Lyle would work with us to deliver the whole package – by collaborating with their R+D team, we have been able to bring to market a fantastic no-sugar-added fruit-based drink that delivers a significant calorie reduction with all the taste expected from an established brand like Lerum.”

Supported by in-store briefings, campaign materials and presentations the dilutables range will carry the “Sweetened with SPLENDA®” logo. The launch of the no-added-sugar Lerum range coincides with the retail launch of the SPLENDA® tabletop range in Norway by McNeil Nutritionals.

“With the launch of the SPLENDA® tabletop product in Norway, awareness of SPLENDA® Brand products will be very high. Consumers will increasingly associate the logo with the great taste of SPLENDA® Sucralose and brand recognition will be enhanced by the launch”, adds Jan Petter Vadheim.

“We were delighted to work with Lerum to help bring this new no-added-sugar range to market. Independent research commissioned by Tate & Lyle shows that there is a strong demand for reduced-calorie or reduced-sugar beverages and the increased interest in Norway highlights this trend. SPLENDA® Sucralose can help meet that need,” says Simon Redshaw, Regional Sales Director, Tate & Lyle. “When you take sugar out of a product, it can affect its functionality. We used our broad portfolio of ingredients to ensure that the no-added-sugar drinks fully matched the experience of Lerum’s full sugar range.”

SPLENDA® Sucralose is ideal for any producer looking to change a product formulation or extend a product range because it is heat and shelf stable, retaining sweetness during all commonly used food and beverage manufacturing processes. SPLENDA® Sucralose has facilitated a broader range of low calorie and reduced sugar ranges than ever before, creating new opportunities for manufacturers by enabling an increase in the variety, and improving the quality of, healthy lifestyle foods.

Sucralose has enjoyed great success in the European beverage market with uptake in branded and own-label carbonates, cordials, light juices, flavoured waters, fruit teas and powdered drinks. Tate & Lyle also supplies the food industry in Scandanavia with key customers in dairy, fruit preparation and spreads and light alcoholic beverages.

SPLENDA® Sucralose is suitable for use by all the family, including expectant and nursing mums and people with diabetes. Today, millions of consumers around the globe are enjoying SPLENDA® Sucralose. It is currently in over 4,000 products worldwide, with the majority (by sales revenue) going into food (53%). To date Tate & Lyle has approved over 1500 stock keeping units, from soft drinks to ice cream, to use the SPLENDA® logo.