Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has announced the UK re-launch of Adez; a plant-based beverage that claims to be healthy and have no added sugar.

The Adez brand was founded in Argentina in 1988 and was originally launched by Unilever in the UK in 2006 but was withdrawn after only two years after failing to gain traction with consumers.

Though Adez failed to appeal to British consumers in the mid-2000’s Coke now believes that it could succeed where Unilever failed and bought the brand for a reported £300 million last year.

Coke’s interest in Adez can be explained by its drive to diversify its portfolio to meet the rapidly changing consumer and political landscape in the UK. Simon Harrison, CCEP GB customer marketing director, explained that “consumers are increasingly conscious of their nutritional choices… almost half are more likely to buy an item if they know the nutritional information.”

The consumer landscape has changed as British consumers have become more concerned about their health in recent years because of the rise of lifestyle related diseases, such as diabetes and obesity. In fact, according to GlobalData’s Q4 2016 consumer survey 27% of British consumers said that they are concerned about obesity, while 26% are concerned about diabetes. This growing concern has meant that the relatively niche healthy drink market of 2006 has become mainstream by 2018.

In addition to changing consumer need states, the British government has taken an interventionist approach in the drink market to force manufacturers to cut down on sugar and offer healthier products to consumers. This is most evidently expressed by the new sugar tax that will come into force in April 2018 that will create a levy on water-based soft drinks that have over 5g of sugar per 100ml. This new tax is designed to curtail the proliferation of sugary drinks that are perceived to fuel the obesity crisis, especially amongst children.

Changing consumer behavior and a more active government has made Adez an appealing brand for Coke to not only weather these storms; but to also thrive in an increasingly demanding and complex marketplace. Adez’s low sugar, fruit-based positioning appeals both to health conscious consumers seeking greater nutrition and functionality, and to the government.

The reasons for Adez’s failure in 2006, specifically its low sugar content and health focus, are the same reasons for its new launch in 2018. The British beverage market has finally caught up to Adez – now let’s see if it can succeed in it.