The new SPA Fruit range is a rainbow of colours, flavours, and formats. All made with 100% ingredients of natural origin – a commitment which is part of our “Pure” pillar. But what does this mean? Marianne Mahieu, Group Formulation Lead at Spadel, explains Spadel’s naturality framework, and how to balance an indulging taste with health for a refreshing new outlook on lemonade.
The major ingredient of all our beverages is Natural Mineral Water, which is pure and natural by nature. Also, all our fruit and botanical extracts (used for flavouring) are natural as defined by EU regulation.
For all other ingredients, the ‘natural’ statement is not framed by legislation. So we built our own guidelines, based on the ISO/TS 19657, expert feedback and the perception of ‘natural’ among stakeholders. Our resulting naturality definition considers two axes: the origin of the ingredient and its processing.
Regarding the origin, all our ingredients exist in and are coming from nature. When processing the ingredient we prefer the softest processing technique when possible and defined a ‘processes matrix’ to clarify what this means.
Where other soft drinks might rely on citric or even phosphoric acid to create the necessary duality between sweetness and acidity, SPA uses lemon juice. The stability of the fruit juices is naturally assured with stabilizers coming from nature like pectin; you will not find modified starch or carboxy methyl cellulose in our lemonades, neither preservatives like sorbic and benzoic acids.
We don’t rely on chemical sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose either. The stevia plant is used as a source to bring an indulgent taste to our low calorie lemonades – between 8 and 12 kcal/100 ml depending on the variant.
It’s these natural ingredients that shape the unique taste footprint in SPA’s still and sparkling lemonades. Orange, apple, strawberry, blackcurrant, watermelon … each ingredient, carefully selected by Spadel’s Formulation team, brings roundness and depth to deliver a unique consumer experience, in the best respect of people and planet.
‘To me, this really is the best part of the job. Doing the development exercise while staying natural is a real creative and technical challenge! Today we are very proud to confirm the path started already years ago: all our SPA lemonades are made according to the naturality framework, with even less calories than before, and with a full indulgent taste validated by the consumer.’
Apart from their taste impact and naturality, SPA lemonade ingredients are also selected according to our local sustainable supplier commitment. Reducing our carbon footprint by staying local is a key driver for the Spadel Group, by selecting certified sustainable suppliers in close collaboration with our Purchasing department.
Concretely this means that twelve of our fourteen ingredient suppliers are located within a 500km radius of our Spa Monopole factory, with the other two located in Italy and the South of France. Additionally, we are proud that all our strategic suppliers have joined the EcoVadis programme.
‘We work closely with our partners to create our products, but the fine-tuning of the development and production happen right here in Spa Monopole. The way we package and fill the bottles on an aseptic production line allows us to work without any artificial ingredients or preservatives, so we can ensure the naturalness and purity of our lemonades. One of the four key pillars that underpin our commitment to being the Source of Change.’
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