Introduced to the off-trade in April last year, caffeine-free energy drink Little Big Shot is the brainchild of Scottish entrepreneur Bert Jukes, who claims the range is designed to provide a healthier alternative for consumers looking for a soft drink or mixer.
“The goal was to make a drink that would taste good, do you good, and wouldn’t have any caffeine,” said Jukes.
“It’s easier said than done.”
Available in 330ml cans in Fruit Berry, Orange & Mango and Apple, Kiwi & Lime flavours, the range contains fruit juice, ginseng and vitamins as well as ingredients from Deep Ocean Minerals – a Taiwanese venture specialising in minerals that are said to promote health and wellbeing.
Originally stocked by convenience store symbol groups such as Costcutter and Nisa, the range has since been listed by Tesco, and will soon be appearing in Boots, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s stores across the UK.
Last month the brand made its way into the on-trade, with its first listings in several Scottish bars.
Jukes said expansion into the on-trade had not been part of the company’s original strategy, but a marketing push late last year stimulated interest from the trade, and Little Big Shot is now promoting its drinks directly to pubs and bars.
Jukes said the company will be working with the trade early this year to help outlets promote the brand to customers.
“It’s versatile, it’s got so many combinations it can work with,” he said.
“It works with spirits very well. It’s profitable and it’s not just a one-trick pony.
“People are going to come back and say ‘give me one of those again, that was nice’.”
And the response from bartenders has already been very positive, said Jukes.
He claimed the drinks have been put to use as cocktail ingredients, paired with spirits that include whisky, vodka and tequila as well as Champagne and Prosecco.
“They [bartenders] are raving about it,” he said.
“They’re saying I don’t know what I’ve got with these fruit mixers, that the fruit is unreal.
“I don’t know anything about this game.
“I’ll put my hand up – I couldn’t even spell cocktail. I’m a whisky man, I like my whisky and water, but best of luck to anyone who does it.”
As well as growing its UK footprint, Little Big Shot is also expanding into overseas markets, with listings secured in Scandinavia, Holland and Belgium.
Jukes said the company is also aiming to have broken into the US market by the end of the year.