New brand FHIRST has introduced Living Soda – an all-natural, sugar-free, functional drink combining gut-friendly probiotics and prebiotics.

Positioned as a ‘great-tasting, guilt-free soda’ that aids gut, immune and brain health, the initial three-strong line-up comprises Cherry Vanilla, Passion Fruit and Ginger Mandarin flavours, available in 330ml cans.

Brand founder Steven Van Middelem says he identified a gap in the market for a science-backed health drink that ‘over-delivered on taste and health’, shunned the use of sugars or artificial sweeteners yet offered a popular soda taste profile and maximum kerb appeal.

There is nothing like FHIRST on the market and we hope to become global leaders in this space

Two years in the making, FHIRST Living Sodas contain two billion live cultures in each serving – micro-encapsulated for stability, controlled release in the gut and a 365-day shelf-life – along with 5g of prebiotic dietary plant fibre and zinc.

“We wanted to create a drink that can support immunity, brain health and overall gut health without compromising on taste, and without the sugars or artificial sweeteners, and that’s exactly what we’ve been able to do,” explains Van Middelem. “We believe we’ve come up with a winning combination that will appeal to consumers looking for dynamic functional beverages without sugars or any nasties, and we’re excited to bring our unique proposition to the UK. There is nothing like FHIRST on the market and we hope to become global leaders in this space.”

As well as encouraging consumers to make healthier beverage choices, the company has also launched PlanetFHIRST, pledging 1% of turnover to biodiversity and green infrastructure projects via a partnership with SUGi.