Juice and Smoothies specialist PJs is making a bid for the children’s lunchbox market with the launch of two additive-free fruit drinks called FrooOties.

The move comes amid increasing concern for and media interest in the high sugar and salt content in children’s diets.

Rolling out to all the major multiples over the next three months, the strawberry and orange flavoured pouch drinks are a blend of crushed fruit and juice with nothing else added.

The company describes them as a combination of a smoothie and a juice -- thinner than the former and thicker than the latter - with no pips. Each 150ml pouch has an eight-week shelf
life and retails at 69p and is said to provide one portion of the recommended five-a-day intake of fruit and vegetables.

Chief executive Harry Cragoe said: “They have the branding appeal of PJs and, at this lower price point, are accessible to everyone.

Cragoe said packaging had been designed to attract both parents and kids. “We’ve tried to make the front of the pack appeal to kids while the back has contents information to give parents confidence.

“Unlike some bigger brands, we have no difficulty in bridging the confidence gap,” he explained.

PJs is in discussion with contract caterers, schools and foodservice outlets and is planning a third variant and a multipack early next year.

The company is also spending just under £1m on its first national TV ad campaign. On air now and targeted particularly at 16 to 30-year-olds, two executions feature an animated cartoon character called Bert. He is shown stuffing his face with food and turning into a couch potato until he drinks a FrooOtie and slims down again.
Mary Carmichael