The drink, called Soy2O, contains fruit-flavored water and 20mg of soy isoflavones per 12 ounce bottle. It is said to have no soy taste and a clear appearance.
Leading Brands, which also makes the Trek energy drink, will be hoping for strong sales in the US market, after reporting a 20 per cent drop in revenues in its second quarter to $12.5 million (C$17.2m). It has also seen delays in the start up of a new carbonated line and lower profits in its US subsidiary, where president Robert Miller resigned earlier this year.
Soy isoflavones are increasingly seen as a way of adding value to foods in the growing functional food sector. They have been associated with reducing menopause symptoms and also protecting women with low bone mineral content from fractures in postmenopause years. Further studies show a protective effect against breast and endometrial cancer while soy protein is recognised for its cholesterol-lowering benefits.
Such evidence is expected to boost demand for isoflavones, with a recent Freedonia report predicting a rise of nearly 23 per cent yearly up until 2007.
The new Leading Brands product line comes in four flavors: blueberry grape, peach mango, strawberry guava and lemon green tea. Distribution in Canada will follow shortly.