From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lucozade Caribbean Crush
TypeSoft drink
Country of origin United Kingdom
Region of originNewcastle upon Tyne
Introduced1927; 97 years ago (1927)

Lucozade is a British brand of soft drinks and energy drinks manufactured and marketed by the Japanese company Suntory. Created as "Glucozade" in the UK in 1927 by a Newcastle pharmacist, William Walker Hunter[1] (trading as W. Owen & Son),[a] it was acquired by the British pharmaceutical company Beecham's in 1938 and sold as Lucozade, an energy drink for the sick.[1] Its advertising slogan was "Lucozade aids recovery". It was sold mostly in pharmacies up until the 1980s before it was more readily available as a sports drink in shops across the UK.

A glucose and water solution, the product was sold until 1983 as a carbonated, slightly orange-flavoured drink in a glass bottle wrapped in cellophane.[3] Pharmacists sold it, children were given it when ill, and hospital visitors would regularly arrive with a bottle.[4][5][b] It was rebranded in 1978 as a "pick me up",[5] and as a sports drink in 1983, to associate it with health rather than sickness. The company switched to a plastic bottle and introduced a range of flavours.[3][9] As of 2016, a 500 ml bottle contained 62 g (15.5 cubes) of sugar, more than Coca-Cola.[10] In 2017, to avoid sugar tax, the drink was reformulated to contain 22.5 g of sugar per 500 ml of liquid,[11] as well as the artificial sweeteners aspartame and acesulfame K. In 2023, it was reformulated again. It still contains the same amount of sugar, but aspartame was swapped out for sucralose.[12][13]

The UK’s No. 1 energy drink, it has been exported to Asia and Australasia.[14] In 1989, the Beecham Group merged to form SmithKline Beecham, which further merged in 2000 to form GlaxoSmithKline. In September 2013, GlaxoSmithKline sold Lucozade and another soft drink, Ribena, to the Japanese drinks conglomerate Suntory for £1.35 billion.[15]


"Glucozade" was invented by William Walker Hunter in 1927 in Newcastle; Hunter had taken over the business of pharmacist William Owen.[1][2] Hunter sold the product to the Beecham Group in 1938 and it was eventually renamed Lucozade.[1]

Lucozade originally was available in only one variety, which was effervescent with a distinctive sweet citric flavour. It was sold in a glass bottle with a yellow cellophane wrap until 1983, when it was re-branded as an energy drink to remove the brand's associations with illness. The slogan "Lucozade aids recovery" was replaced by "Lucozade replaces lost energy". The glass bottle was replaced by a plastic (polyethylene terephthalate (PET)) one. After the re-branding, UK sales tripled to almost £75 million between 1984 and 1989.[14]

In 1989, the Beecham Group and SmithKline Beckman merged to form SmithKline Beecham,[16] and in 2000 SmithKline Beecham and GlaxoWellcome merged to form GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).[17] In 2013, GSK put Ribena and Lucozade up for sale.[18] Suntory, a Japanese holding company, bought the brands in September for £1.35 billion.[15] At the time of the sale, the product was manufactured in England at the Royal Forest Factory in Coleford, Gloucestershire, in the Forest of Dean.[15]


Following its rebranding as a sports drink, high-profile athletic figures in British pop culture have promoted Lucozade in television commercials, beginning with Olympic decathlon champion Daley Thompson in 1983, followed by sporting figures such as Olympic sprint champion Linford Christie, footballers John Barnes and Alan Shearer, rugby player Jonny Wilkinson, and Tomb Raider heroine Lara Croft.[14]

Purpose and effectiveness[edit]

Sponsored by Lucozade, footballer John Barnes appeared in an early 1990s commercial, stating: "this is Isotonic Lucozade Sport, it gets to your thirst, fast".[19]

A stated purpose of sports drinks, which provide many calories of energy from sugars, is to improve performance and endurance. In an analysis[when?] by Matthew Thompson and colleagues from the Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine, of 431 marketing claims of performance enhancement, most cited no evidence. 174 sources were cited for Lucozade; of them, Thompson found only three studies of high quality with a low risk of bias. The rigorous studies that did show improved endurance were "of limited relevance to most people because the tests were on elite athletes". This was backed up by a research study done on professional cyclists, to see if ingesting Lucozade before an hour bike ride would impact performance. The study could not find any positive impact on performance after ingesting it.[20] Thompson said that for the vast majority of people, drinking such products "could completely counteract exercising more, playing football more, going to the gym more".[21][22]

Lucozade comes in the form of liquid in either a can or plastic bottle, or it can come in the form of a tablet. The tablets have the flavours of either orange or the original flavour.[23]

The drinks are marketed as soft drinks; a soft drinks industry spokesman said in response: "By helping people participating in sport to perform better and to recover more quickly, sports drinks can encourage people to exercise more".[21]

In May 2016, Liverpool City Council ran a "name-and-shame campaign" entitled "Is your child’s sweet tooth harming their health?". The short-lived campaign claimed that Lucozade was "the worst offender", containing 62 grams of sugar in a 500 ml bottle, followed by Coca-Cola with 54 grams. Posters for the campaign were displayed in hospitals for a time.[10]

In its original high-sugar formulation, Lucozade was recommended by UK diabetes charities as an immediate treatment for hypoglycaemia in individuals who take insulin.[24][25] Since the drink now includes artificial sweeteners, guidelines have been amended to state that Lucozade should not be used to treat diabetic hypoglycaemia.[26]


While the ingredients vary somewhat from one drink to another, those of the Lucozade Original Energy were listed as follows in 2013: carbonated water, glucose syrup (25%), citric acid (E330), lactic acid (E270), flavouring (unspecified), preservatives (potassium sorbate, sodium bisulphite (E-222)), caffeine, antioxidant (ascorbic acid), colour (sunset yellow (E110), Ponceau 4R). After the reformulation to lower sugar in 2017, and another reformulation in 2023, Lucozade Original contains the sweeteners sucralose and acesulfame K.

A warning is printed on the packaging that the colouring may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children. Nutritional information for 380 ml bottle: energy 1129 kjoules = 266 kCal; protein, fat and fibre nil; carbohydrates 65.4 g of which sugars 33.1 g of which 65.4 g glucose-based; and sodium trace.[27] Packaging also warns that spilt Lucozade may stain. A 380 ml bottle of Lucozade contains 46 mg of caffeine,[28] about as much as a cup of tea.

Lucozade contains 0.01% ethanol (alcohol), which meant that observant Muslims could not drink it. However, in 2004, the Muslim Council of Britain ruled that they saw no harm in consuming Lucozade which contains traces of ethyl alcohol that do not bear its original qualities and do not change the taste, colour or smell. GlaxoSmithKline pointed out that fruit juices and bread could also contain the same or higher trace amounts of alcohol due to natural fermentation.[29]


Lucozade Energy

  • Original
  • Orange
  • Wild Cherry
  • Wild Berry
  • Pink Lemonade
  • Apple Blast
  • Lemon
  • Cloudy Lemon
  • Tropical
  • Mixed Berry
  • Strawberry
  • Raspberry Ripple
  • Watermelon & Strawberry
  • Melonade [30]
  • Caribbean Crush
  • Brazilian Mango & Mandarin
  • Citrus Chill
  • Citrus Clear
  • Grafruitti
  • Pineapple Punch
  • Tropical Fusion
  • Black Edition Cola
  • Blackcurrant [31]
  • Blue Burst[32]

Lucozade Zero

  • Original
  • Orange
  • Pink Lemonade
  • Tropical

Lucozade Sport

  • Orange
  • Caribbean Burst
  • Brazilian Guava
  • Raspberry
  • Cherry
  • Mango & Passion Fruit
  • Fruit Punch (AJ Edition)
  • Low Cal - Orange
  • Low Cal - Lemon & Lime
  • Blue Force[33]

Lucozade Alert [34]

  • Original
  • Tropical Burst
  • Cherry Blast
  • Blue Rush


Lucozade Sport during the 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup

Lucozade Sport is a major sponsor of events, teams and athletes in the UK and Ireland, including the Amateur Rowing Association (ARA), FA Premier League, FA Cup, England Rugby Football Union, England Football Team, the Republic Of Ireland Football Team, the London Marathon, Parkrun, Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard, Damien Duff, Ronan O'Gara and Ben Wynne.[citation needed]

The McLaren Formula One team was previously sponsored by Lucozade. The brand has also sponsored Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell since he first broke the 100 m World Record in 2005. They honoured his Beijing Summer Olympics achievements with a small function in October 2008.[35]


A Lucozade Zero booth marketing a tie-in with Missguided in 2017 in Birmingham

In 2017, British fashion supplier Missguided was included in a campaign by Lucozade Zero. Coded cans were offered at booths in crowded areas that entitled drinkers to discounts on Missguided products.[36]

Explanatory notes[edit]

  1. ^ "LUCOZADE-—Word mark. Wares: Non-alcoholic and carbonated beverages of all kinds and essences and syrups for making same. William Walker Hunter, trading as W. Owen & Son, 151, Barras Bridge, Newcastle-uponTyne, England. NS."[2]
  2. ^ "Dilly" (Poppadom Preach, 2011). "[Dr Johnson suspected that Egg had] picked up a bug of some sort. He said she needed plenty to drink, and suggested Lucozade. Suddenly I wished I was sick as well, because my friendship with Estie had given me a taste for Lucozade: the smell, the bright orange colour, the cellophane wrapping (which could later be used to make X-ray specs), the glugging as it left the bottle like a fizzy golden waterfall, the tiny bubbles jumping out of the glass and popping in the air."[6]
    James Willocks and Wallace Barr (2004): "a rush of friends and relations clutching the traditional bunch of flowers and bottle of Lucozade".[7]

    "Adrian Mole" (The Lost Diaries of Adrian Mole, 1999–2001, 2009): "Personally I think it was a great mistake to provide hospital patients with bedside telephones. They give their long-suffering relations no peace with their incessant, peevish demands for Lucozade and boxes of tissues."[8]


  1. ^ a b c d "We did it first". The Northern Echo. 27 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Canadian Trademarks Details 0173483". Canadian Trademarks Database. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b Blythe, Jim (2013). Consumer Behaviour. SAGE. p. 404. ISBN 9781446290323.
  4. ^ Delingpole, James (4 May 2017). "Thanks, Jamie Oliver – you've stolen my childhood". The Spectator. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  5. ^ a b Taylor, David (2007). Brand Vision: How to Energize Your Team to Drive Business Growth. John Wiley & Sons. p. 182. ISBN 9780470060940.
  6. ^ Khan, Almas (2011). Poppadom Preach. Simon and Schuster, 21.
  7. ^ Willocks, James; Barr, Wallace (2004). Ian Donald: A Memoir. RCOG. p. 55. ISBN 9781904752004.
  8. ^ Townsend, Sue (2009). The Lost Diaries of Adrian Mole, 1999-2001. Penguin UK, 70.
  9. ^ Donovan, Tristan (2013). Fizz: How Soda Shook Up the World. Chicago Review Press. p. 215. ISBN 9781613747254.
  10. ^ a b Denis Campbell (7 May 2016). "Liverpool in drive to name and shame fizzy drink brands". The Guardian.
  11. ^ Cave, Andrew (30 October 2017). "Lucozade Ribena Suntory boss: 'Our drinks can be fuel for healthier living'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Lucozade Energy - Orange 24 x 380ml » Lucozade". Retrieved 7 August 2023.
  13. ^ Beeson2023-08-04T12:14:00+01:00, James. "Lucozade Energy gets 'more zingy' reformulation". The Grocer. Retrieved 7 August 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ a b c Case Studies in Marketing. Pearson Education India. 2011. p. 21.
  15. ^ a b c Monaghan, Angela. "Ribena and Lucozade sold to Japanese drinks giant", The Guardian, 9 September 2013.
  16. ^ "Profile: SmithKline Beecham". BBC. 18 December 2000.
  17. ^ "The Glaxo SmithKline merger". BBC News. 17 January 2000.
  18. ^ Rupert Neate (24 April 2013). "Lucozade and Ribena up for sale". The Guardian..
  19. ^ "Superbrands case studies: Lucozade". Campaign Live. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  20. ^ Back, K; Van Someren, K; Palmer, Garry (2003). "One Hour Cycling Performance Is Not Affected By Ingested Fluid Volume" (PDF). International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 13 (3): 333–342. doi:10.1123/ijsnem.13.3.333. PMID 14669933.
  21. ^ a b Adams, Stephen (19 July 2012). "Sugar-laden sports drinks cancel out exercise gain". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  22. ^ Heneghan, C; Perera, R; Nunan, D; Mahtani, K; Gill, P (18 July 2012). "Forty years of sports performance research and little insight gained". BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.). 345: e4797. doi:10.1136/bmj.e4797. PMID 22810388. S2CID 39018130.
  23. ^ "Lucozade". lucozade. Lucozade Ribena Suntory Ltd. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  24. ^ "Hypoglycaemia (hypos)". Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College NHS Foundation Trust. 19 September 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  25. ^ "How will decreased sugar in Lucozade affect people with diabetes?". Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  26. ^ "New edition of hospital hypos guideline published". Diabetes Times. 4 March 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  27. ^ Packaging of Lucozade Energy Original, 2013. Package printed with number 0502229/02
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Muslims get soft drinks go-ahead". BBC News. 2 August 2004.
  30. ^ Bamford2013-08-04T13:07:00+01:00, Vince. "Lucozade Energy adds limited edition melon flavour". The Grocer. Retrieved 20 May 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  31. ^ "Blackcurrant - Lucozade". Retrieved 20 May 2024.
  32. ^ 2024-02-06T11:47:00+00:00. "Lucozade turns blue with Blucozade". Convenience Store. Retrieved 28 February 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  33. ^ 2024-02-06T11:47:00+00:00. "Lucozade turns blue with Blucozade". Convenience Store. Retrieved 28 February 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  34. ^ Lucozade. "Discover the Lucozade Alert soft drinks range from Lucozade". Lucozade. Retrieved 27 February 2024.
  35. ^ "Lucozade honors Powell". Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  36. ^ "Lucozade Zero and Missguided partner for on-pack and experiential". IPM Bitesize. 4 April 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2020.

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