Budget squash brand Jucee is to launch into pure juices in a bid to meet demand from cash-strapped consumers, said brand owner Princes.

The new four-strong ambient Jucee Pure Juice range consists of orange, apple, pineapple and grapefruit juices, all made from concentrate. Sold in resealable one-litre packs the juices will retail for 79p.

The company has stepped up investment in Jucee this year and the move into fruit juice comes at the same time as an overhaul for the main squash brand.

The company has revamped the packaging across the range, changing the bottle shape and label design to make the brand more striking. The squash has also been reformulated using more fruit juice and no artificial colours and flavours.

"We spotted a gap in the market for a branded range of squash and pure juices that will offer shoppers healthier hydration without a hefty price tag," said Chris Wright, marketing director for Princes' soft drink division.

"The range will deliver on-shelf appeal as well as flavour, choice and healthy options."

Jucee is aimed at the independent sector where, according to Princes, it is the leading squash brand. Overall it is the fifth-biggest squash brand by value, down 10% to £6.3m [Nielsen MAT 4 October 2008].

The revamp is the latest move in ongoing development of the squash brand, which included the launch of a double-concentrated version earlier this year, its first NPD launch in several years.

"Many people rely on squash as a tasty way to stay hydrated, while pure juices offer time-pressed consumers a quick way to 5-a-day," said Wright.

Last year rival Britvic launched new juices under its Robinsons and Fruit Shoot labels in a bid to boost the brands' heath credentials. The pure juice category appears to be benefitting from the economic downturn as consumers seeking a convenient vitamin boost turn away from more expensive smoothies.