Coca-Cola is in hot pursuit of natural sweetener alternatives and is calling on the general public for ideas. The icing on the cake? There’s a sweet reward.
The “Sweet Story Challenge” is calling for written anecdotes or videos, sharing proven natural tricks to sweeten food and drinks through plants or plant sweeteners, used in everyday life.
$100,000 will be contended by up to five individuals or teams, with winners announced in December.
The project is part of Coca-Cola’s mission to expand all natural sugar alternatives. The search for new beverage ingredients is another way to refresh its drinks portfolio, says Coca-Cola’s chief innovation officer, Robert Long.
“We’re always searching for newer, better ingredients, and we know that amazing ideas can come from anywhere,” he said.
A second challenge will see the prize money upped to a whopping $1 million for researches or scientists who can find a naturally sourced compound that mimics the taste sensation of sugar.
Contenders are urged to steer clear of substances derived from stevia or Monk fruit or anything that may be protected according to country laws.
Sugar has always traditionally come from sugar cane, used as a sweetener in food and drink for thousands of years. Over time, plant-based sugars have been discovered and used to create low and no-calorie sweeteners including beets and corn plants.
The challenges are a response to rapidly changing lifestyles where low-calorie alternatives are vastly overtaking original Coca-Cola.
Pressure on Coca-Cola to keep up with changing consumer behaviors has been evident in recent times, with many different variations on the original cola appearing in stores.
The campaign follows the introduction of Coca-Cola no sugar, another response to growing concerns for nation-wide obesity and diabetes rates.
This post was written by Georgia Fullerton. For more, check out our sister site Food to Love.