Functional food is being tipped as the next big trend, and is reputed to have more potential than organic to attract the health conscious consumer. Although growth has been gradual, manufacturers have tuned into juice as a drink that can easily extend into the functional food arena. Yakult has a raft of health beneficial products available in Japan but at present only its probiotic yogurt drink is available in the UK. The product has shown phenomenal growth, worth £22.8m, up 58% year on year [52 w/e October 2000, Information Resources], and the time could be right for the company to bring in more of its functional juice drinks. One is a peach flavoured fruit drink called Hi-Line which is enriched with fibre and iron for women; the others are unusual fruit and vegetable combination drinks such as peach and sweet pepper, grape and cabbage, and orange and spinach. Probiotic yogurt drinks such as Yakult have enjoyed consistent growth and Pete & Johnny has extended its super smoothie range with what it claims is the first 100% fruit juice probiotic super smoothie. It's Alive, available from April, is a peach and banana flavoured drink containing bifidobacterium lactis. Chief executive Harry Cragoe says: "Most probiotic products are dairy based, but It's Alive is ideal for those on non dairy diets." An enriched soya fruit drink, Alpro's Provamel Soya Fruity, is also available from April. In a 330ml handy pack, it is enriched with calcium and vitamins, is dairy and GMO free and comes in orchard and tropical fruit flavours. Santàl Plus has arrived in the UK after being available in the rest of Europe for some time. Made by Italian food producer Parmalat, it is a fruit juice and milk based drink enriched with fibre and vitamins A, C and E. It comes in three varieties: apple, pineapple, and peach and mango in 1 litre Tetra Paks. Marketing manager Keith Rodger says: "Santàl Plus takes advantage of Parmalat's vast experience in the market ­ combining our world-class juice and milk technology. It has a fruity flavour without the sharp, acidic edge of some fruit juices which makes it more appealing to young and old alike." Parmalat plans to extend its distribution throughout the trade during 2001. {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}