A whey drink aimed at mainstream consumers as well as sportspeople has been launched by dairy ingredients company Volac.

Upbeat - launched under Volac’s The Good Whey Co banner - contains 77% whey protein concentrate from British milk, as well as fruit juice and natural fruit purée.

Unlike many existing protein drinks on the market, Upbeat is fresh rather than UHT, which gave it the quality and taste credentials required for mass-market appeal, said Volac.

Ideal as a high protein snack or breakfast replacement, it would appeal to health-conscious consumers, post-pregnancy mums, vegetarians and meat reducers, not just the “body conscious” and sporty heartland of whey drink consumers, it added.

The brand would compete both with chilled and ambient drinks and open up a new category of protein drinks, sitting alongside hydration drinks including water and coconut water, fruit smoothies and energy drinks, predicted Mark Neville, director of human nutrition at Volac.

Available in strawberry and mango & passion fruit flavours (rsp: £1.79), Upbeat will initially roll out to London and the South East on 6 May.

Each 250ml bottle contains 20g (8g per 100ml) of protein, and less than 150 calories. By comparison, Frijj strawberry contains 3.7g of protein per 100ml and For Goodness Shakes’ Superberry contains 3.3g per 100g.

The launch will be supported by a £2m marketing campaign, which will include widespread sampling.