Ocean Spray has unveiled a two-pronged strategy to rescue its struggling juice portfolio, including its first loyalty reward scheme for retailers and a £7m marketing push.

The Harvest Club scheme, which has been set up to build on the brand's cash & carry, wholesale and independent retail relationships, enables members to swap 'berry points', which will appear on all cases, for PoS material and gift prizes.

The scheme would be integral to improving range stocking and was a "vital component" in the company's growth strategy, said Jonathan Duffin, business development director at Ocean Spray UK, which is owned by Gerber Foods.

"In the current climate, it is important to reward loyalty and keep investing in advertising. We expect solid single-digit growth in the next year," he said.

Last year, sales of Ocean Spray juices and smoothies slumped 2.9% to £51.8m, [Nielsen MAT w/e 4 October 2008] compared with a 1% drop to £1.8bn for the total category.

The new advertising kicks off next month with a TV commercial called Honey, which features brand character Kate going to "even more extreme lengths" to look good on the outside in contrast with the brand's 'Help protect your inside' strapline.

Brand awareness of Ocean Spray had more than doubled among its core 25 to 45-year-old female audience since the characters first appeared in its ads two years ago, Duffin claimed. "The pre-summer push will reach 90% of the UK adult population and is certain to increase household penetration and volume sales further."