A Disney assist

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Minute Maid hopes a modern Mickey Mouse and cuddly Winnie the Pooh will be the answer to increasing its share of the kid-targeted juice-drink category.

The Coca-Cola Co. unit won a shoot-out with PepsiCo's Tropicana Products and others to license the Walt Disney Co. characters in February, when the entertainment powerhouse decided it wanted to increase its everyday contact with consumers by reaching into the grocery channel, said Rick Zuroweste, director of innovation at Minute Maid.

With the entry this September of the line of 18 premium-priced juice and juice drinks-Disney Xtreme! Coolers leveraging a contemporized Mickey to kids ages 4 to 10, and Disney Hundred Acre Wood 100% Juices featuring Winnie the Pooh for the 1 to 6 set-Minute Maid is pledging to "gain share leadership within aseptic kids' beverages," Mr. Zuroweste said. A total of $18 million in marketing will be spent on the launch, described by Minute Maid as "the biggest kids' beverage launch in the history of the company."

Minute Maid had previously gone beyond its typical arena in chilled and frozen orange juice with Hi-C boxes and Minute Maid Coolers, which rolled nationally earlier this year. But the Disney initiative is expected to give the company a leg up against its primary competitor, Kraft Foods, because of the appeal to both moms and kids.

In January, Minute Maid will launch separate national TV, radio and print campaigns from Bcom3 Group's Leo Burnett Co., Chicago, for Xtreme! Coolers pouches. One positions the brand's extreme sport flavors such as Tropical Wave Board and Overhang Orange to kids by featuring Mickey and the gang engaged in activities such as ocean kayaking and rock climbing. Other ads target moms with the message of the beverages' higher juice content and 25% less sugar. For Hundred Acre Wood juices, four apple-based blends, Minute Maid will target moms with ads focusing on the "nutritional gold standard of 100% juice with wonderful apple flavors," Mr. Zuroweste said.

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