Juice did well at the expense of juice drinks which continues to suffer from Sunny Delight's fall from grace last year. A juice drink brand that has just bitten the dust is Britvic's Juice Up. But its demise coincided with Procter & Gamble's rehabilitation of Sunny Delight, which had lost favour with consumers over low levels of juice and high levels of additives. Health-conscious consumers are consistently looking for better tasting premium products that don't contain additives and P&G has now revamped Sunny D by raising the juice content from 6% to 15%, removing the added sugar, bringing in new flavours and backing it to the tune of £10.7m over the next 12 months. Tropicana says Sunny D's decline had a massive impact on total category growth. Channel marketing controller Christian Jones says: "The latest ACNielsen MAT figure on chilled juice and juice drinks show the category is up 3.6%, yet chilled juice alone rose 23% ­ the key driver being Tropicana, whose growth was 33%. "The repositioning of Sunny Delight with 15% fruit juice will, hopefully, turn around the lost consumer confidence and arrest the decline." Jones adds that retailers are looking for brands to drive growth and the category by investment. And Tropicana's first TV sponsorship deal begins this spring when it backs the C4 programme A Place in the Sun. It also plans a summer on-pack promotion linked to it. The company's distribution partnership with Müller continues to blossom. Jones says Müller has 66% penetration in the c-store sector and is the best partner to have in that area. This year it hopes to double the volume of its from-concentrate Tropics range which has been particularly successful in small bottles. There was a need, says Jones, for an all-day refreshing from-concentrate and Tropics filled this gap and moved it out of the breakfast pigeonhole. "In not-from-concentrate it is difficult to get that refreshment and the flavours it offers," he adds. Packaging makeovers have also helped to boost sales. Tropicana's Jones says that in an EDLP environment the category needs something other than promotions to catch the eye. Both Cirio Del Monte and Princes have shaken up their brands and relaunched into the independent sector. CDM's Just Juice brand has a 24.5% share of the £22m long life pure juice sector which it hopes to grow by reinvigorating flavours, bringing in new blends in 500ml PETs and 200ml Tetra Paks, and updating packaging with bold graphics. Princes' Finest has introduced new and improved flavours. Product manager Nick Clarke says: "We've spent six months exploring the usage of fruit juice and drinks brands and gaining an understanding of prevailing attitudes which we've used to create our new ranges. "We've set ourselves strong sales targets over the next 12 months and we aim to support our customers and consumers with a number of initiatives later in the year." Smaller players entering the market have come up with novel images to grab the consumer's attention. The Big Squeeze organic beverage company's Twisted range of juices shows a twisted character on each bottle denoting the part of the body that will benefit from the juice blend. While orange juice accounts for around 65% of the market and is the bestseller, it is not the fastest growing. Apple is in growth and newer flavours are making their mark in the market such as cranberry, tropical exotic and unusual blends. Cirio Del Monte's latest World Fruits range consists of fruit blends, such as Peruvian star fruit and New Zealand kiwifruit. The Dorset Blueberry Co uses local blueberries and Kentish apples. Premium brands such as Fruit Passion and Del Monte's World Fruits, have made the ambient fixture a more innovative and exciting place, with less of a focus on price, says Gerber Foods Soft Drinks senior brand manager Alli Lucy. "Ambient juice has been waiting for that to happen," she adds. Seventy per cent of Gerber's business is own label and it claims to be the leading supplier of organic juices under the Libby's Organic brand. Itis also the only player in the branded Fairtrade arena with its Fruit Passion label. Sampling has played a crucial role in boosting sales of both lines. More than 370,000 litres of the one-year-old Fruit Passion juice have been sold and the company believes the importance of Fairtrade is beginning to grow. Lucy says: "Ethical trading is becoming more important and retailers are buying into it too. It's likely that Fairtrade may follow suit as an own label." Ocean Spray cranberry-based juice and juice drinks, also made by Gerber, are worth £60m. With cranberry fast becoming one of the must-stock flavours after orange, Ocean Spray is keen to boost the brand and is putting £6m behind it this year. Brand manager Colin Davis says household penetration of cranberry is up 26% and one million more households will be buying it this year [ACNielsen MAT]. The company has launched Cranberry Classic juice as a one-shot in a slimline 250ml can to grow the brand in the convenience sector. It is already in cartons and PETs. The success of one-shots is largely through the food to go fixture at the front of store where sales can be maximised. The 250ml cans have become a feature in Cirio Del Monte's long life range targeting impulse and Stute Foods is increasing its food to go activity with pure orange and apple juices and a cranberry drink in 250ml metallised Tetra Paks. Tropicana is also looking for growth from one-shots and predicts sales of its single serve will increase to £24m within the next three years. Functional and fortified juices are considered to have even more potential than single-serves as consumers actively seek health from products rather than pills. Dan International, which handles the German Bertram Exclusiv range in the UK, says after last year's successful launch of Omega containing fatty acids, vitamins and a blend of four juices, another functional juice and a smoothie is on the cards this year. {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}