Cans of lightly sparkling soft drinks with a clear white panel in the label, designed for children to colour in, are to be launched in the UK by start-up company Drink Doodles based in London.
The new Doodles product features a ‘colour me can’ that can be decorated using a felt tip pen or crayon and then wiped clean with a damp cloth, wet wipe or tissue.
The drinks will be filled in 250ml cans by a contract canner. Drink Doodles would not disclose further details of the canner nor the supplier of cans. It also did not reveal whether any special coating or printing techniques were involved in creating the writable surface on the cans.
On 13 April, Drink Doodles plans to start a crowdfunding campaign to raise an initial £300,000 to fund the retail launch and marketing in the UK. A spokeswoman for the company told The Canmaker that while the coronavirus epidemic in the UK might cause a delay, it probably would not be a considerable one.
“People caught up in any type of crowdfunding are naturally expecting some change, but the response we have had to date is astounding regarding interest and the uniqueness of the drinks range really does cut through some of the current Covid-19 press noise. We have real confidence in that,” she said.
The low-sugar brand has been created by eco-conscious parents Alisha and Lee Eason, who for years had been frustrated by the lack of healthy sparkling drinks available for their own children.
Three real-fruit combinations will be launched: Apple & Blueberry; Pineapple & Mandarin; and Peach & Mango. Each can of drink contains between 2.2-2.4g of sugar and just 22 calories with no refined sugars or preservatives. The cans will retail at between £1.20-£1.49 with a June launch planned.
Also available from the company are a novel can toppers, called Doods. These are claimed to increase hygiene by removing direct mouth contact with can lids, while preventing dust, dirt, sand and insects from entering the can opening. Their design has a familiar, ‘sippy cup’ mouthfeel for younger children, which also helps to stop leaks and spills. They can be washed and reused and can also be recycled.
“Our kids have always loved to drink sparkling water and they often put fruit in their drinks to make it into a more fun ‘kiddy’ cocktail so we wanted to take this and make something more accessible and fun to the younger audience,” Ailisha Easton told Grocery Trader magazine.
“All the current sparkling drinks out there for children are high in sugar with dubious ingredients, added plastic straws, etc. We just wanted to create a wholesome healthy drink in a fully recyclable can to allow them to have healthy drinks with an added twist of fun but at the same time also teaching them to look after the earth as the UK’s fixation with single use plastic bottles seems to continue.”
“Bring an end to those awkward silences on long journeys, shopping trips and meals out and have some laughs with funny food jokes designed to help little ones see food as fun,” Doodles stated on its website.
The cans of drinks are also intended to be educational. “Teaching our kids to be more eco-conscious can be difficult,” the website added. “Our amazing earth facts will amaze and teach interesting and important lessons about our beautiful planet and nature.”