Flavoured milk drinks clearly have the white stuff to succeed at the moment: their 6.6% volume growth outstripping the growth of their high-profile soft drink counterparts [Nielsen 52w/e 20 March].

Growth has been driven by consumers looking for healthy alternatives to sugar-laden carbonates, claims FrieslandCampina UK brands marketing director Marielle de Jong.

"People are tending to choose healthier drinks," she says. "The milkshake category starts from a healthier place and producers have been looking closely at their ingredients list."

Growth has also been fuelled by high-profile marketing and on-pack promotions. FrieslandCampina plans to spend £4.5m on a Take Off With Yazoo campaign in 2010, which offers consumers the chance to get a free flight to Europe when they buy two bottles of 500g or a cluster pack of Yazoo.

"Yazoo has grown to an £85m brand and the planned marketing activities for 2010 will help to continue this growth," claims de Jong. Dairy Crest is also putting money behind its flavoured milk brand, Frijj, with a new limited-edition caramel flavoured drink in a bottle emblazoned with the St George's cross to mark St George's Day. It will be available from 18 April to 31 July and will be supported by a £2.5m marketing spend.

Its budget may be more modest than Frijj's or Yazoo's, but premium milkshake brand Shaken Udder has high hopes for its range. The company, which will be taking its wares to six UK music festivals this year, including Glastonbury and the V Festival, recently added caramel-flavoured shake Caramoo to its range, which includes Top Banana and Strawberry Stash.

"Milkshakes have needed a makeover for a while," says Shaken Udder co-founder Jodie Farran. "It is too often associated as a child-only offering, but the reality is that Shaken Udder can help to revitalise an often overlooked milk aisle in the way that smoothies have helped the juice sector to up its game and improve fruit consumption."

He claims his company's products offer "a light refreshing milk feel versus the really sickly gloop that you often get".

Focus On Soft Drinks