“Drink Coca-Cola and lose weight at the same time! “ may sound about as likely as beach-front property in Wolverhampton. but next month, the Coca-Cola Company is launching a tea-based drink called Enviga which, it says, will actually burn more calories than it adds to the body of the average, healthy consumer.
Enviga, a joint venture between Coca-Cola and Nestlé, will contain a cocktail of caffeine, calcium and a green tea extract called epigallocatechin gallate. The drink will essentially be a stimulant, speeding up the metabolism and thus encouraging energy burning. According to research conducted at the University of Lausanne - but yet to be published in full - a healthy person aged between 18 and 35 could lose up to 100 calories by drinking three 12oz cans of Enviga over the course of a day. The drink itself contains about five calories.
When it is rolled out over the course of the next year or so - Enviga will take its place in the emerging market for so-called "negative calorie" drinks. A Florida company has already produced a drink called Celsius, which it claims raises the metabolism rate by as much as 12 per cent and "significantly increases calorie-burning".
Deborah Roberts, the company's senior brand manager for North America, said Enviga would be marketed to people who already lead relatively healthy lives. "This is about the small steps you take every day to have a more balanced lifestyle," she said. The drink will come in three flavours, green tea, berry and peach, and sell for about 80p.
Coca-Cola has made repeated attempts to shake the unhealthy image of its soda products, not always successfully. Its foray into the lucrative bottled water market famously came unstuck in Britain when the company was forced to admit that its brand, Dasani, was just tap water.
If the research is true then drinking 3 cans of Enviga a day – at a cost of £2.40 - will burn all of 100 calories. This is roughly equivalent to half a hamburger or two fingers of Kit Kat.. Despite Coca Cola’s claim that Enviga will be targeted at people who already lead a healthy lifestyle, I would imagine that it will mainly be drunk by people clutching at straws.