Natural aloe soft drink backed by Invest Northern Ireland

Picture by Michael Cooper

Bursting on the market: Chris Martin (front), Managing Director of Aloe Burst in Portrush, is pictured with Maynard Mawhinney, Invest NI Food and Tourism Director, at the launch of the new health drink.

Aloe Burst, a totally unique, innovative and natural soft drink, has been developed by Portrush-based Natural Import Company (NIC) with assistance from Invest Northern Ireland.

Invest NI is providing assistance to NIC to exploit opportunities in markets outside Northern Ireland for the new drink, a unique blend of pureed aloe and artesian spring water.

Support for the company’s marketing of the original product was announced by Maynard Mawhinney, Invest NI Food Director, following a meeting with Chris Martin, NIC Managing Director, who formed the company last year to develop and launch the soft drink.

Mr Mawhinney said: “The company has made encouraging progress since launching its marketing drive for Aloe Burst. Our assistance has enabled this small and ambitious company to develop attractive branding and eye catching promotional materials and to line up distribution deals in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

“It is now in discussions with potential representatives in Britain and has received approaches from distant markets such as Australia.

“NIC has also secured business for Aloe Burst from Fitzers, the leading Dublin-based caterers, and is being assisted by Invest NI marketing experts in England and the Republic of Ireland to identify potential partners.

“The company is a further example of market-led innovation which underpins the local food and drink industry, innovation being recognised increasingly in markets outside Northern Ireland. NIC has created the type of natural soft drink with flavour provenance that consumers are now keen to purchase.”

Mr Martin said: “Aloe Burst is unique in that we puree our Aloe in Northern Ireland, and the pure artesian spring water used has been filtered through the basalt hills of Antrim for hundreds of years giving Aloe Burst its unrivalled natural purity, from an established and traceable source. Customers can count on the provenance of what is essentially a home grown, natural soft drink. It’s produced without any artificial colours or flavours and is also fat-free.

“What we’ve done is to re-invent from scratch, an Aloe drink that’s popular in Asia and parts of Europe, including the Netherlands, where I first tasted the drink. We decided to puree our aloe because existing aloe drinks contain small cubes of Aloe Vera, a feature which our market research and experience indicates isn’t popular with consumers in Britain and Ireland.

“We import the Aloe Vera directly from an established, organically certified supplier in China, then puree it and blend with natural artesian spring water and other natural ingredients. The whole process is under our complete control.

“We are currently working with a well known mixologist and bar industry expert to create the ‘perfect serve’ for Aloe Burst and create a range of completely unique cocktails. We are certain Aloe Burst will be the best tasting and most versatile mixer to hit the bar scene in decades.” he adds.

Natural Import Company, which was formed last year, received assistance from Invest NI of £4,600 towards marketing costs of £11,500.