Coca-Cola is to team up with Walt Disney Co to market children’s non-carbonated beverages.

Products launched under the Disney brand include juices and juice drinks from the Minute Maid Co. an operating group of Coca-Cola.

The range of beverages is also set to include milk-based and water-based drinks, punches and smoothies. The products will be packaged in containers featuring Disney characters, including Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck.

The first of the Disney juice drinks will be on supermarket shelves in the US by the end of the year with an international roll-out expected in 2002.

Under their agreement, Disney and Coca-Cola will produce advertising campaigns, consumer promotions, themed packaging and in-store displays.

The deal with Disney suggests Coca Cola is keen to expand in the non-carbonated beverage market to move away from the stagnant soft drinks market. Last week it announced that it was to form a new juice and snack food company with consumer products giant Procter & Gamble Co.

Both ventures indicate that Coca-Cola is trying to push hard in markets already dominated by PepsiCo, but it may find that its strategy is too late to challenge its rival. Coca-Cola’s new partnerships will pit the company squarely against PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay and Tropicana.