Del Monte's new Squeezie range will benefit from particularly appropriate timing. Fruitini successfully re-launched as a healthy children's snack last year, and this latest product extension again provides dual appeal to both children and parents alike.

According to trade magazine The Grocer, Del Monte's Squeezie range, to be introduced later in June, will be labelled with a no added sugar claim and the promise that the product contains the equivalent of one of the necessary five-a-day rations of fruit or vegetables.

As with Del Monte's previous targeting efforts, the Squeezie range will be aimed at children between four and nine years old. The 90g re-sealable pouches will initially come in Apple, Blackcurrant and Strawberry flavours and will retail at a recommended price of £0.59 (US$1.09) each or £1.49 for three.

It was only last summer that Del Monte re-launched its Fruitini brand as a convenient, fun and healthy fruit snack targeting the children's lunchbox market. This renewed focus has further built upon the years of goodwill the brand has been able to generate with parents. High profile brand victims such as Sunny Delight illustrate the difficulties in generating credible dual appeal for both parents and children.   

Del Monte's decision to extend its healthy eating Fruitini portfolio into pouches comes at a time when the debate over childhood obesity in Britain continues to escalate. Taking this into account, the timing of the launch appears perfect, especially in light of the increased focus on chilled and fruit based products during the summer months.

Of equal importance are the benefits the new packaging format provides. It offers heightened convenience by easily facilitating on-the-go consumption and removes the need to pack extra spoons, something that research shows are often forgotten. It also offers a comparatively novel consumption experience to an age group that is always seeking excitement from its foods.

If there is one criticism that can perhaps be directed towards the Fruitini brand it is that the visual flair of the packaging has not been as appealing as other lunchbox offerings such as Cheesestrings, Frubes or Lunchables. With the Squeezie range complementing the already successful containers, the Fruitni brand looks set to further assert its credentials in the lunchbox market.

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