Probiotics have already entered the functional beverage category via the dairy aisle, but now Naked Juice will market a whole new premium juice drink with active culture ingredient bifidobacterium. Available nationally this month, Probiotic Tropical Mango is a juice smoothie that will be marketed for the support of digestive and immune health. The product represents what could be the crossing of two trends: functional beverages and probiotics. Functional beverages are a huge driving force in the entire functional food and beverage category, with energy drinks and enhanced waters now leading the way. According to a new Mintel report on functional beverages, functional juices have lost out to other categories of functional beverages. However, Naked Juice differentiates itself as marketing a more upmarket product. "We remain focused on delivering breakthrough innovation in the super-premium juice category for our devotees," said Naked Juice general manager Adam Carr. And innovative ingredients like probiotics may just be the way to makeover the functional juice category. Among other things, probiotics are hailed for their potential to supporting optimal digestive functioning. They have long been popular in Europe, buy have only recently begun to make waves in the US, thanks in part to a heavy marketing initiative carried out by French dairy giant Danone. Friendly bacteria is becoming more and more prevalent in functional foods on mainstream shelves. Probiotic drinks and yoghurts are leading functional food and drink market growth, according to a recent report Datamonitor. This growing popularity of probiotic drinks and yoghurts has led to advertising campaigns such as those for Danone's Activia line. Since Activia yogurt's launch in January 2006, it has surpassed the $100m mark in US retail grocery sales. Based on this success, the dairy giant recently launched three new probiotic-delivering products for the US market: Activia Light nonfat yogurt, DanActive dairy drink and Danimals with Lactobacillus GG( LGG).