The search for new and innovative routes into the energy drink market has reached unprecedented heights (or should that be depths?), with the launch of a natural drink made from ants.
The latest offering from InterContinental Brands (ICB), imaginatively entitled Ant, contains Polyrachis - an extract taken from the Asian mountain ant that is reputedly revered among the Chinese for its nutritional powers.
Polyrachis is sourced from the Changbai Mountains in north-eastern China and the Himalayas in southern China and Tibet, and is alleged to improve sexual function, regulate Yin and Yang and reduce anxiety.
Paul Burton, joint managing director of ICB said: "Ant is a very rare thing in modern marketing, a product with genuine points of difference that has the potential to open up a major new area. In Asia, modern technology has made Ant widely available for the first time. Now that it is no longer reserved for emperors, or mountain locals who consumed it as a nutritious delicacy, Ant elixirs have become hugely popular among young adult consumers in cities like Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Beijing."
Ant is flavoured with passion fruit and lychee, presumably to disguise the notes of creepy-crawlies, and also contains other stimulants such as schizandra and lycium.