UK soft drinks manufacturer Britvic Soft Drinks is to spend £7.75m on the launch of its latest product Freekee Soda, a carbonated blend of skimmed milk and real fruit juice.

The drink has been in development for three years and will be launched into Cash & Carry and Impulse at the end of February 2003, supported with a £1.5m spend on new manufacturing equipment and a £6.25m launch.

Britvic claims the drink will be something of a "revolutionary concept" as it is a blend of 4% skimmed milk with 7% real fruit juice. It has no added sugar and each bottle is fortified with a sixth of the recommended daily allowance of calcium.

"Freekee Soda creates a whole new sub-category called 'texture-based fizz'. The fizzy yet smooth texture is achieved by blending milk with real fruit juices - with a final injection of fizz 'to shake you up and smooth you out," the press release claims.

Freekee Soda will be available in two flavours - Strange Strawberry and Odd Orange. Both 330ml portable, resealable bottles and 330ml x 4 multipacks will be available in take-home (RSP's from 62p and £2.09 respectively and 99p for single packs in the on-trade).