GlaxoSmithKline is extending its Ribena Blueberry Really Light drink into cartons and a dilutable squash from next year to move the brand further away from its blackcurrant heartland.
From February, the blueberry flavour will be sold in 288ml cartons as well as in the existing 500ml bottle, with a squash format rolling out a month later.
In addition, the company is targeting the 'big night in' category for the first time, with a 1.25-litre ready-mixed blackcurrant drink that will compete with bottles of carbonates.
The extensions to the blueberry portfolio are part of a wider strategy by GSK to communicate to consumers that blackcurrants are not the only fruit in its Ribena range. A Really Light Raspberry and Pomegranate flavour is coming out next summer and more superfruits are also expected to be added to the range in the near future.
Ribena already has Orange Tropical and Berry Burst variants, and it also uses apple, strawberry and cranberry. Other superfruits at the company's disposal could include acai and goji berries, both of which have had strong media coverage recently and have hit the market in juice formats.
Anne MacCaig, marketing director, said: "The flavour strategy has already seen the successful launch of Ribena Really Light Blueberry this year, with the drink moving into cartons and squash in 2007. Pomegranate will be the next superfruit to join the range and we believe this will continue to reposition and grow the Ribena brand successfully as it celebrates its 70th year."
Next year the brand is getting a packaging revamp, with packs carrying GDA information for the first time. An £8.5m marketing campaign that focuses on the growing diversity of the Ribena brand and moves away from its '95% of all UK blackcurrants' positioning is breaking in the summer.