Coca-Cola is boosting its health credentials with the launch of several functional variants under its Minute Maid brand. It is hoped the launches will strengthen the brand’s position in the juice market, which has had mixed success in the UK.
The new range will kick off with Minute Maid Summer Fruits, a 100% pure juice orange-and-berry blend, which will hit supermarkets in September.
It will be followed by the launch of four new, functional drinks, which are expected to include smoothies and drinks that will help health and well-being. The soft drinks giant has trademarked a range of names, including On The Go Smoothie, Digestive Wellbeing and Cell Defence.
It is not known if the new variants will replace existing variants in the Minute Maid portfolio, although Coke has confirmed it will not affect the Minute Maid 100% pure juice.
Sainsbury’s does not stock the range, and Waitrose delisted its vitamin-enriched version and is considering axing further variants (MW May 10).
The new range comes as Coke overhauls Minute Maid with new packaging and pack formats in a bid to better compete with arch-rival Tropicana and supermarket own-label juices. A £5m relaunch of the brand in 2005 failed to kick-start sales.
Coke is making significant steps to depart from its core carbonated offering with new launches and acquisitions.
It acquired tea-maker Fuze for around $225m (£115m) earlier this year and has also bought Glaceau, the vitamin-water-maker, for $4.1bn (£2.08bn).