Juice drinks, defined as products with anything less than 100% fruit juice, grew 30% in the latest year [Taylor Nelson Sofres Superpanel], providing most of the growth in the combined fruit juices and fruit drinks sector. Most of that growth was provided by Procter & Gamble's Sunny Delight. As a chilled juice drink it was the first of its kind and since its launch in 1998 has quickly become the largest brand in the combined sector, going down in marketing lore for its effective, finely targeted strategy. A different, unique tasting product in the chilled cabinet precisely targeted at value conscious consumers, for a while its growth seemed unstoppable, But its meteoric sales growth reached a plateau in autumn last year. And the drink's presence in chilled cabinets has been questioned. An industry observer says: "In fast turnaround outlets such as supermarkets it may be the case that the drink does not need to be displayed chilled, though in smaller outlets where it is likely to stay on the shelf for longer periods a chilled environment can help maintain its vitamin content." Even without Sunny Delight, juice drinks would still have grown. Cranberry is a juice which works well with different combinations of other fruits and has particularly stimulated the drinks sector. Richard Hall, chairman of Zenith International soft drinks consultancy, says: "People like the dry taste and combinations, and it offers functionality for conditions such as cystitis, which has given it a lot of coverage in the women's press." Belvoir has recently launched a new cranberry cordial with over 80% cranberry juice content, which it says makes it one of the highest cranberry juice content products on the market. On the functional market, Gerber Foods' juice drink range, Libby's C, the first vitamin enriched juice, was rebranded and reformulated in August last year shaking off its cosy image and reappearing in silver, futuristic packs. Its sales were up 15% on the previous year. In 2000 it is spending £1m on a marketing campaign. Last year also saw the launch of Dan International's Bertrams Exclusiv's ACE drink ­ a high juice drink made from orange, carrot and lemon with added vitamins A,C and E ­ and Fruit-fibre drink, a blend of orange, apple, banana and lemon with added fibre for nutritional benefit. A one shot 330ml bottle contains approximately 10% of the adult recommended daily allowance for fibre. The most well established in the Bertrams Exclusiv range is Multifruits, a blend made with tropical and traditional fruits enriched with nine vitamins. The company claims it is a good way to top up vitamin intake. Director of sales and marketing Danuta Litynska points out that in Germany supplemented fruit juices and juice drinks (such as vitamin enriched, and so on) is the third largest category after apple and orange juice. The £100m adult soft drinks market, as defined by AC Nielsen, amounts to 70 million litres in volume, a 15% volume growth over the last year. Merrydown produces Shloer, which has a juice content of around 55%. Kevin Bolt of Merrydown claims it is one of the top three adult soft drinks brands. It is now "trying to move beyond the dinner table and broaden its use, expanding the category as a premium alternative to both alcohol and soft drinks," he says. Del Monte's Fruit Burst, with 15% juice, is especially targeted at school kids' packed lunches. Robinson's similar-sounding new Fruit Break is also aimed at the lunchtime market, though towards working women who are the primary adult users of still fruit drinks. Its low calorie content could prove attractive. Head of customer planning, Dave Eslick, said: "In the last 12 months, the ready to drink fruit drink market has grown by almost 20% in volume in the impulse sector." disney prize from um bongo In the children's market, Gerber relaunched Um Bongo last year. Marketing director Rob Spencer says it has untapped potential. Research has indicated that children really have latched on to its jungle animal characters. Children aged four to 11 are being asked to enter a competition to paint or draw a picture with an animal or other wildlife theme. Winners will receive Um Bongo certificates and the overall winner will have a family holiday in Disneyland, Florida, and visit the new animal kingdom attraction. The drink has around 17% juice and boasts the catchphrase Um Bongo, Um Bongo they drink it in the Congo'. {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}