Danone is targeting its Actimel probiotic dairy drinks at the kids market, with special packs flagging up the products' benefits for youngsters.
Packaging for Actimel Kids Packs is designed to appeal to mums rather than their offspring, with a cardboard wrap-around bearing the messages: 'Helps support your child's natural defences' and 'Great for kids too'.
Adam Grant, sales director, said: "In the UK Actimel has a huge latent potential among families and we know that the biggest barrier to kids' consumption is that many mums simply don't appreciate that Actimel is suitable for them."
Due to hit shelves next month, the initial SKUs will be six-packs of strawberry and new banana flavour, with an rsp of £1.99.
The diary giant has high hopes for the newcomer, which will be joining Yoplait's Petits Filous Plus and Nestlé's Munch Bunch Drinky+ in the category. Grant predicts that it will clock up sales worth up to £15m in the first year.
"Other products that are available are primarily about taste rather than functional benefits, while Actimel Kids Packs focuses on getting the health benefits of the product across to mums," he said.
Grant added that he expected to see a lot more growth from the children's sector as manufacturers approach it from a health point of view.
A £4m TV campaign will act as a launchpad for Actimel Kids Packs, backed by in-store activity running from next month through to June.
The activity forms part of a £14m media spend for the brand running throughout 2006.
Sales of functional dairy drinks rose 43% to £315.4m last year, according to TNS Worldpanel figures.
Probiotic drinks accounted for the biggest proportion of sales, rising 23.1% to £247.2m.
Lisa Riley