PepsiCo is set to focus on slow uptake of the 'five-a-day' recommendations in the UK, by launching a new range of smoothies in the country.

The company confirmed today (25 February) that it will broaden its Tropicana not-from-concentrate brand into the smoothie market. PepsiCo said that, despite the UK government's attempts to promote consumption of five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, the UK public was proving slow to take to the cause.

"We've spent several years developing Tropicana Smoothies and we think the results showcase the excellence in fruit sourcing and blending that made Tropicana famous," said Mary Barnard, managing director of Tropicana UK/Ireland.  "This is the right time for this new range. As a convenient way to boost your daily fruit intake, smoothies help people meet the target of at least five-a-day, and yet 70% of households don't buy them.

"As market leader, we have the platform to bring smoothies to a much wider audience. The potential health benefits of increasing fruit and vegetable intake are considerable."

The Tropicana Smoothie range consists of five flavours, including blackberry & blueberry, raspberry & pomegranate, and apple, pear & cranberry.

Made with 100% fruit juices and purées, the drinks will provide the equivalent of two portions of fruit per 250ml bottle. The launch, which sees the range hit UK shelves "as we speak", will be backed by a GBP4.5m (US$8.8m) marketing campaign in the country, emphasising the five-a-day message.