Called OJ+, the ambient juice is being launched by Anytime Food & Drink under its recently developed Fuel for Kids (FfK) brand. Aimed at children aged ten to 14, it has no added sugar or preservatives and contains one sixth of the RDA of Omega-3.
According to marketing manager Louise Duff, the drink is a breakthrough in the ambient juice category because of the difficulties in fortifying juice without leaving a fishy aftertaste. It is the result of an 18-month research and development programme that worked to produce a drink with the right levels of Omega-3 that children would still enjoy. "It's all about taste," said Duff. "Kids vote with their tastebuds."
The drink is also one of the first examples of Omega-3 in a mainstream product. "There are very niche products on the shelves, such as cereal bars and vitamins, but we are talking about a mainstream category," she added.
Set for launch in August, the juice will be available in 180ml 'wedge' Tetra Pak cartons, designed specifically for lunchbox use. An ambient apple juice, fortified with vitamins A, C, D and E, is also being launched. Both will be available in a multipack of four with an rsp of £1.89. As well as helping to increase children's intake of Omega-3, Duff said the development would raise the profile of the ambient drinks category, which has suffered an identity crisis at the hands of the chilled juice category.
"There has been very little innovation in ambient juices, and the category has been left behind," she said.
"Innovation has just been in world flavours or fruit that is synonymous with health, so this drink will be a real boost for the category."
The FfK brand was launched in April, and also includes snacks such as peanuts & raisins, popcorn and salt & vinegar fries, which are also free from artificial colours, sweeteners and preservatives.