PepsiCo plots smoothie launch to rival Innocent

TropicanaPepsiCo is launching its juice brand Tropicana into the smoothie market next month in a bid to take on market leader Innocent.

It is understood that Tropicana Smoothies is a key launch for PepsiCo this year and will receive a significant marketing and advertising campaign.

The smoothies will be launched in one-litre cartons, although it is expected to be launched in smaller sizes if it proves successful. There are five variants: strawberry & banana; blackberry & blueberry; apple, pear and cranberry; raspberry & pomegranate; and mango, passionfruit & pineapple.

PepsiCo has made previous attempts to break into the UK smoothie market. In 2001, it trialled a yoghurt-based smoothie with M¸ller, but it is understood that the product was scrapped before it made it on to shelves.

Tropicana is the leading pure juice brand in the UK, recording sales of £196m in 2006, and has 21% volume share, according to Mintel.

It already has some brand extensions including Tropicana Go, which is aimed at the children’s lunchbox market.

PepsiCo recently repositioned PJ Smoothies, which it acquired in 2005, as an alternative to supermarket own-label by slashing its price by 30% and ditching exotic fruits for more traditional flavoured variants.

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