Groupe Danone has bought a stake in China's largest juice producer, China Hui Yuan Juice Holdings, for an undisclosed sum.

The French drinks group said today (3 July) that it had snapped up a 22.18% holding in Hui Yuan, which controls 17% of China's fledgling juice market.

Juice consumption in China has grown at over 15% a year over the last three years. However, annual per capita consumption stands at just 2 litres, compared to 11.5 litres in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Danone, which already leads the bottled water market in China, said Hui Yuan had "developed an enviable brand image" with its flagship brands Nectar and Pure Juice, which lead the juice market's "health-oriented segments".

Danone owns Wahaha, the most popular bottled water brand in China.