CROYDON, UK: Food and beverage  titan Nestlé is to launch a new brand of smoothies in the UK later this month in partnership with Australian juice-bar chain Boost Juice, in what is seen as an attempt to break the Innocent brand's stranglehold on the market.

The two companies reportedly spent 18 months developing the co-branded Boosted Smoothies, which are made from fresh fruit, and will be sold in four different flavours through supermarkets including Sainsbury's and Asda.

Smoothies constitute one of the fastest-growing areas of the soft drinks market – up by an estimated 31% to a total value of £214 million ($425.3m; €270.8m) last year – and if the new brand proves successful, it could ultimately be made available beyond the UK.

As well as forming part of Nestlé's new strategy of focusing on “health and wellness” brands, the launch of Boosted Smoothies typifies a growing trend for multinationals to use the UK as a testing ground for new products, with British consumers perceived to be eager “early adopters” of new trends.

PepsiCo recently launched Pepsi Raw – a natural version of its main brand – in the UK, with Pepsi International cmo, Simon Lowden, saying: “We certainly expect it to be more broadly available than just the UK.”

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff