If you thought ‘hot fruit drink’ meant a steaming mug of Ribena or Vimto, think again.

The founder of posh tea brand Clipper Teas is hoping to create a brand new sub-category with the launch of FruitBroo, a seven-strong range of caffeine-free hot drinks.

“You’ve only got to spend five minutes in a coffee shop before you hear someone order a soya macchiato with an extra caramel shot,” says Mike Brehme, who has been developing hot drinks for 30 years and spent four years developing FruitBroo before its launch in April.

“Twenty years ago this choice in hot drinks didn’t exist. There is now a huge opportunity within retail to respond to this demand with innovative, tasty, healthy new products.”

The FruitBroo range, made with fruit juice, herbs and spices, comes in flavours including peach, pear & honey and hot banana & coconut, and contains just 15 calories per cup. Consumers simply add one or two teaspoons to a mug of hot water.

Four variants will be available in 500 Sainsbury’s from this month and the company is in talks with other retailers regarding listings.

“Hot fruit drinks isn’t a category yet but hopefully soon will be,” says Brehme. “We have to generate a groundswell of interest in the idea that hot drinks made with real juices taste amazing when they are specifically blended to be served hot. I believe that FruitBroo has at least the same potential as green tea within a few years.”

He should know what he’s talking about. Brehme claims he was first to market with green tea, Fairtrade tea and organic tea and says he plans to make FruitBroo “number four”. There is a real opportunity to emulate in retail what’s happened in coffee shops, he believes.

“The last year has predominantly seen lots of interest among young shoppers in new things,” he says. “The hot drinks category in retail has yet to get as exciting as the out-of-home channel.”

That could soon change if FruitBroo hits the spot.