Thursday, 11 June 2015

Roots Soda Co. Kaleidoscope with glass.

Now that we’re producing our soda on a bigger scale, with better equipment, we’re benefiting from greater efficiencies, and our price has come down!

Fizzy drinks all have three things in common; flavour base, sweetener, and water. The flavour base in many traditional fizzy drinks comes from essential oils, which can make up as little as 0.1% of the final drink. When I started Roots Soda Company back in 2012, I looked at smoothies that were just made from fruit and said, “I want a soda like that, but more watery and fizzy” obviously.

Like those smoothies, we wanted our soda to be made from nothing but whole fruit juices, and for them to have the least amount of processing possible. That presented a number of challenges. We wanted a big flavour, but we were not prepared to use concentrates, add backs, or anything artificial. We had to pasteurise our soda, but we wanted it done quickly for a better taste, and in order to preserve as much goodness as we could. However, ingredients such as chillies, needed a little while to simmer in order to get out all their flavour and kick.

We solved these dilemmas by using a lot of high quality ingredients (Hoodoo is 45% fruit juice), and processing them separately. We then brought them together and mixed them.

Making soda at home like this was one thing, trying to do it on a commercial scale was quite another. We couldn’t raise funding to build our custom soda works and we weren’t sure if it would work either. We had to find a way to build a production facility that could test our method on the cheap. We had to use the kind of kit home brewers would use. In 2013, we did just that.

Our outputs were tiny so we couldn’t buy anything in bulk. Our setup was massively labor intensive, and we lost 9% of each batch due to inefficiencies. But, it did mean that we could experiment, make mistakes that weren’t massively costly, and develop a process for making our soda.

Today we make our soda on a much bigger scale. It’s our process, but with commercial equipment and it’s now efficient. We no longer lose 9% of each batch and as a result our price recently came down.

In typical Roots Soda Company fashion it wasn’t the glorious moment I hoped it would be. It was something we had to do, and we did it. We didn’t shout about it until now, to give our stockists time to sell their old stock first.

At Roots Soda Company we have our To-do-list. Recently we’ve been ticking off items, this is just another.

Peace be with you brothers and sisters

We’ve made a little info graphic which explains how we make our soda below.

Roots Soda Company infographic How We Make Our Soda.


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