Functional food and drink continues to make the marketplace buzz, and the arrival of Danone Activ a year ago shook up the traditional bottled water market. However, with all products of this kind, educating consumers as to what these products actually do is paramount, and Danone Waters instantly recognised that communication played a vital role. Its simple use of a skeleton family to get the message through about the water's added calcium and the healthy benefits it offered worked a treat, and during its launch campaign, on which it spent a whopping £9m, the company claims to have taken over as the number one brand overall for a period. Now, it claims, it enjoys third place behind Evian and Volvic. Sales in multiples of this calcium-enriched still water added up to more than £7.8m year ending November 4 2001 [Information Resources], and gave it a 4.7% share of the multiples' bottled water market. This year it is spending £6m on media support and introducing new variants. A three litre fridge friendly bottle makes its debut this month and a flavoured range targeting kids will be launched in April. Marketing director David Graham says the two new flavours ­ blackcurrant, and orange and apple in 1.5 litre packs, plus 330ml four-packs ­ will be specially aimed at families and children's lunchboxes. Food Brands Group md Brian Chapman says if you can produce a functional drink that tastes good and refreshing, you're on to a winner. But a lot of these products aren't, he adds. At the end of this month Food Brands is capitalising on the strong performance of bottled water with the launch of its own variant, Rocket Fuel still spring mineral water laced with guarana and caffeine. This product, it feels, will complement its existing range of guarana and caffeine packed coffee, tea and an energy drink. "We've created a range which is the next generation Red Bull style products except that where that product is seen as a mixer with alcohol, we've put our latest liquid in a 500ml bottle with a sports cap and targeted it as an all-day drink," says Chapman. Youngsters and drivers wanting to stay alert are its main target. "We've put the two hottest markets ­ water and stimulation drinks ­ together in one format using the same ingredients we use in our other drinks. "The effect of the product is the same, except that it's water based." Food Brands is targeting sales worth £25m, but Chapman says he thinks that within the next 18 months it will be at least a £20m brand. He says, however, that with functional and energy sectors being so new, retailers are still uncertain where these products fit. "It would be wrong to put this type of drink in the water section right away. We see it in a chilled energy drink fixture, particularly in forecourt shops. People understand the energy drink section. It's a bit like organic. It has to be where people are looking for an alternative." Authentic natural origins and health endorsements are ways of wooing consumers to fortified water, and Canadian Neva Sport is endorsed by Olympic modern pentathlon gold medallist Dr Stephanie Cole. This new super oxygenated still spring water drink is sourced from the Neva Springs in New Brunswick, Canada, and distributed in the UK by May & Raeburn. Claimed to be enriched with up to 10 times the amount of oxygen normally found in bottled water, this pure oxygen is introduced into the water prior to bottling and stays there for up to 12 months in the sealed bottle, and for up to 24 hours once opened. Scottish Border Springs' Purely Scottish brand uses the same source as Findlays water ­ the springs at the Lammermuir Hills region near Dunbar. The company already supplies still flavoured mineral water under the Fruit n' Vits label, but is planning to introduce unflavoured mineral water with added vitamins and minerals this year. {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}