Del Monte is looking to tap into the growing market for adult soft drinks with the launch of a new range early next year.

The Occasions ambient fruit-based juice drinks line-up was designed as an alternative to an alcoholic drink, but could also be mixed with spirits. Inspired by classic flavours, the range comprises Pineapple Mojito, Spicy Tomato, Fruit Cup and grape and apple blend Orchard Zest.

Del Monte said it was hoping to capitalise on the growing opportunity for non-alcoholic alternatives as health-conscious consumers looked to reduce alcohol consumption.

Volume sales growth of adult soft drinks has accelerated from 5.4% a year ago to 14.8% in the 12 months to 30 September 2012, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Penetration has also grown and is now 47.9%, making the category worth £157m.

“Traditionally, get-togethers go together with a celebratory drink,” said Del Monte UK commercial director Tony Gill. “The new range provides non-drinkers with something more special than soft drinks, but can also be served with alcohol, making it ideal as a cocktail or highball.”

Last month, research commissioned by Shloer found that supermarkets could bring £20m in incremental sales to adult soft drinks if they promoted the category during 13 key events.

“With the exception of Christmas and Easter, adult soft drinks tend to get overlooked, with the promotional focus put on other drinks such as beers, wine and cola,” said Shloer marketing head Amanda Grabham.