Craft soft drinks vs soft drinks, what’s the difference?

Craft soft drinks vs soft drinks, what’s the difference?

Craft soft drinks aren’t just a tastier alternative to standard soft drinks, they’re also a healthier option. In our latest post, we’re going to break down why exactly that is.

What are craft soft drinks?

If you’ve landed here, craft soft drinks are probably already on your radar, but what exactly are they? As traditional soft drinks such as your favourite cola are full of sugar and additives, craft soft drinks are taking the market by storm.

Simply put, craft soft drinks, which are also known as artisanal, speciality or small-batch soda are made using premium and natural ingredients, less sugar, lower calories, no artificial colours and preservatives, limited runs, unusual packaging and of course, creative flavours.

While the soft drink market is still dominated by traditional fizzy drink brands, more and more brands are disrupting the industry. As they challenge what a fizzy drink really is, Gunna is part of the revolution.

As fizzy drinks come of age, craft soft drinks have become a real grown-up alternative. From our vegan-friendly raspberry lemonade to our very own take on ginger beer, we’re big on flavour!

So, what’s the difference?

While there’s not a single definition of soft drinks out there, we quite liked this one by Alimentarium; “Soft drinks are sweet, fizzy, refreshing and alcohol-free. They consist of carbonated water with added syrup made from sugar and fruit or plant extracts. The history of soft drinks is connected to the manufacturing of the first sparkling mineral water in the 18th century.”

If you’re asking yourself how they got the name, ‘soft drinks’, it’s simply because they’re an alternative to ‘hard’ or alcoholic drinks.

While soft drinks is an umbrella term for all non-alcoholic drinks, the soft drinks we’re challenging, in particular, are carbonated beverages that are packed full of sugar and artificial flavourings.

Why you should make the switch to Gunna craft soft drinks?

Less sugar

Sugar in soft drinks can be pretty shocking. When we’re asked how much sugar is in soft drinks, there’s no simple answer. Sugar content will vary from brand to brand and flavour to flavour. However, to give you an idea, we wanted to share the sugar content of two popular soft drinks in the UK market. Sometimes, the labelling can be misleading as it is usually per 100ml when a standard can is 330ml.

Take Coca Cola for example, in a 330ml can of regular coke there are 35 grams of sugar, the same goes for regular Pepsi.

Consumers will often enjoy soft drinks without a second thought of the sugar content. We think that it’s about time that changed. If you’re consuming a lot of soft drinks, the sugar soon adds up.

As we battle the bland and take on the giants, we’re offering a healthier alternative. While our drinks aren’t sugar-free, they certainly contain significantly less sugar. In a 330ml can of Gunna, you’ll find 16.2 grams of sugar and a whole lot of flavour. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to standard soft drinks, reach for Gunna.

Lower calories

With lower sugar comes lower calories. So, if you’re calorie counting, you can still enjoy delish and refreshing craft soft drinks without using too much of your recommended allowance.

Take our zesty vegan-friendly lemonade and mint, Muscovite. In a 330ml can of Muscovite, you’ll find just 73 kcals. In contrast, the same sized can of regular Coca Cola has 139 calories, which is 7% of the average recommended intake for an adult to maintain a healthy, balanced diet.

We’ll do the maths here, our lemonade and mint fizzy drink has 48% fewer calories than Coca Cola and 55% less sugar.

No artificial colours or preservatives

Craft soft drinks are free of all artificial colours and preservatives. Of course, the same goes for Gunna fizzy soft drinks. According to a report from loovfood, there are two main reasons we should avoid consuming artificial colours and preservatives. These are:

“Studies have shown that synthetic colourants can cause allergies, headaches, hyperactivity, learning and attention disorders. They have also been associated with intestine problems.”

“Many studies have found a link between flavour enhancers (glutamates) and damages in the nervous and hormonal system and heart functions.”

While many argue that both artificial colours and preservatives would be banned if they were really that dangerous, many consumers have demanded fewer artificial ingredients, particularly in recent years.

Instead of using artificial colours or preservatives, more and more brands are using alternatives such as fruit and vegetable concentrates and edible plants such as hibiscus, lemon and character. When we get so much from natural goodness, there is truly no need to use artificial colours or preservatives.


Currently, Gunna offers four super fun, super tasty flavours. Read on to find out more about our healthier craft soft drinks.

Shirley Temple inspired vegan-friendly Raspberry Lemonade; Pink Punk.

We pair sparkling water, sugar, lemon & raspberry juice (from concentrate) with plump raspberries and fresh ginger to bring you Pink Punk. Throw in some other natural flavourings, natural black carrot extract, sweetness and stabiliser, and that’s a fresh spin on raspberry lemonade.

Vegan-friendly Ginger Lemonade; Ginger Rebel

For our take on ginger beer, we mix sparkling water, sugar, lemon juice (from concentrate), natural ginger extract and other natural flavourings. Add in a little caramel sugar syrup, natural black carrot extract and a touch of sweetener, and you’ll get, Ginger Rebel.

Vegan-friendly Cola & Ginger; Steelworks

For our Steelworks, we’ve put on our own spin on a Cape Town classic with sparkling water, sugar, lemon juice (from concentrate) and natural ginger extract. Mix in a few other natural flavourings, a touch of caffeine, caramel sugar syrup and sweetener, and this is about to be your new favourite cola.

Vegan-friendly Mint & Lemonade; Twisted

Our zesty Twisted is made from sparkling water, lemon juice (from concentrate) mint, ginger and other natural flavourings. Add in some stabilisers, antioxidant, sugar and sweetener, and we give you a super fresh, full of flavour alternative to traditional lemonade.

True natural creative flavours

More often than not, craft soft drinks are healthy alternatives to standard soft drinks. Just like Gunna, craft soft drinks contain fewer calories, less sugar and no artificial colours or preservatives. While we lack on the bad stuff, you can rest assured our drinks pack a punch!

As we take on the soft drink giants, it’s our mission to bring vegan-friendly soft drinks that are full of flavour to our customers. Stay tuned; big moves are coming!

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