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Australia Getting Big Wake Up Call From NZ

New Zealand's number one energy drink V is taking the highly competititve Australian beverage market by storm.

It's just six months since V was launched across the Tasman and in that time the energy drink category of the convenience sector in the route trade in Sydney has experienced a 250 percent growth and V is already the market leader with a 60 percent share.

Manufactured and marketed in New Zealand by Frucor Beverages - whose other brands include Fresh-Up and Just Juice - V was launched onto the New Zealand market two years ago and now commands more than 60 percent market share with research showing nearly every New Zealander or 96 percent of the population knows about the product.

Frucor Beverages' chief executive officer Mark Cowsill says of all consumers aged 15 34 years, 74 percent have tried V at least once with 34 percent buying the product in the past two weeks.

"V is our runaway success story and its triumph in Australia in such a short space of time is phenomenal, especially when you consider how competititve that market is and we will continue to build on that success in Australia and New Zealand," he says.

"Based on the New Zealand experience where the market is worth more than $50 million we estimate the Australian market will be worth $200 million in the next 12 months."

The expansion into Australia and V's remarkable growth in New Zealand are directly attributable to business strategies and resources implemented when Frucor Beverages was sold by the New Zealand Apple and Pear Marketing Board to a consortium of international investors just over a year ago.

At the time of the sale the new owners, headed by New Zealand investment bankers Fyers Wickham and Pacific Equity Partners of Australia, said Frucor Beverages would have the capital and international business expertise to build on its successful track record in the branded beverage market.

"That quite clearly has come to fruition with the benefit to consumers being a wider range of products and services and growers benefiting through supplying juice to Frucor at a good market rate," says Mr Cowsill.

"Everything's on track and we are looking forward to a very bright future as we explore other markets and business opportunities to further grow the business here and overseas."

ENDS....

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