Click through to view one of Pierre Martinets new smoothie variants

Click through to view one of Pierre Martinet's new smoothie variants

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French prepared salad dishes specialist Pierre Martinet has launched a range of vegetable smoothies in the country.

The family-owned firm has invested EUR10m (US$14.3m) in the move, with EUR7m spent in equipping its plant at Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, in south-east France, with a production line capable of turning out 14,000 bottled vegetable smoothie units per hour.     

"This is a completely new market for us and we are the first French firm to target it," a spokesman told just-drinks yesterday (2 August).     

The launch includes a marketing campaign that will see the free distribution of 520,000 bottles over the next two months.

Martinet has set a sales target of 1.2m units in the remaining five months of 2011, rising ten-fold and 20-fold respectively in 2012 and 2013.