Following on from the big trend for coconut water, Waitrose is the first UK supermarket to stock birch water.
Already popular in America and gathering a cult following in the UK by gym goers, birch water is a drink tapped straight from mature silver birch trees.
Waitrose is launching birch water from the brand Sibberi whose motto is “nothing more, nothing less”.
The drink contains only pure birch sap which is collected drop by drop from the tapping of birch trees in Finland, Latvia and Lithuania.
Birch water can only be collected for three weeks of the year, at the start of the spring, when trees release their sap.
Only 1% of each tree’s total sap is tapped so the trees remain unharmed.
Birch water is popular as a post work-out drink as claims to be refreshing, low in calories and contains naturally occurring antioxidant compounds other drinks don’t contain.
It contains five calories per 100ml which is four times fewer calories than coconut water.
This new drink is tipped to be the next coconut water, which first launched in Waitrose in 2010 but is now considered a mainstream choice with many big juice brands having their own version. Sales of coconut water are currently up 62% at Waitrose.
The tapping of birch trees is the same process used for producing maple syrup.
Most Brits will not have tried birch water before but it has been enjoyed for centuries in Nordic countries, Eastern Europe and Russia.
Traditionally it was drunk as a spring ‘tonic’ to cleanse the body of toxins after a long winter.
Says Waitrose Juice Buyer, Nicola Jones:
“Drinking a bottle of birch water may raise a few eyebrows but coconut water was once considered a fad and is now very much an everyday drink for many shoppers.
“Tree water has been a big trend in America and we think it will appeal to those wanting a refreshing change to water but that is still low in calories.”
Sibberi Birch Water launches on 17th of February priced at £2.49 for 250ml.