Big-name licensors such as Disney are featuring in the drive to promote drinks such as fruit smoothies and natural water

In the past drinks manufacturers have preferred linking up with sports and music brands. But it seems the sector has recognised a potential money-spinner by linking in to the health trend.
Calypso Soft Drinks’ recent tie-up with Disney, the world’s biggest licensor, for example, will help boost sales of its healthy fruit smoothies and natural water, it says. Richard Cooke, marketing director at Calypso Soft Drinks, says: “The tie-up couldn’t have come at a better time for us, as we are majoring on the hydration qualities of all Calypso-branded soft drinks as well as the fact that none contains either added sugar or any artificial colours and flavours.”
The fruit smoothies have been developed specifically for children aged four to 10 and will feature characters from The Incredibles on strawberry smoothies and from Toy Story on tropical smoothies. Finding Nemo will feature on a new 250ml bottle of Welsh natural water, designed for children’s lunchboxes.
The Big J’s three fruit juice drinks tie in to Roald Dahl’s books; Oompa Loompa Cocktail, Sherbert Slurper and Frobscottle Swiggle are 65% pure juice and contain no additives, preservatives, artificial flavourings or colourings.
Cott Beverages has recently bought the rights to use The
Simpsons name on a series of six-pack juice drinks in orange & peach and strawberry & apple and also on new cordials in orange and apple & blackcurrant that are free of sugar and artificial colours.
And Slammers, flavoured milk drinks from US manufacturer Bravo! Foods, which recently signed a distribution deal with Coca-Cola Enterprises, made their appearance in the UK in August. David Diggens, director of Drinks Brokers, which is handling sales and marketing of the brand in the UK, said when The Grocer first announced the launch: “It’s a way to get kids back drinking milk.”
Research by Mintel has shown that in the past health was not an agenda for the drinks industry. The market was targeted at older children who had their own money to spend and who were not concerned with health issues. For example, Panda Pops tied into Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, Coca-Cola also tied up with Harry Potter, while T&T linked up with Ali G and Dr Pepper linked up with American Pie 2. But none of them was promoting health benefits. Highland Spring first capitalised on the health trend by using Loony Tunes to promote its drinks to children.