The company claims that its new vitamin enhanced range is enticing customers who are increasingly seeking healthier alternatives to meet their daily nutrient intake. Precise sales figures were not available at time of publication. While Germany's market for ACE drinks with standard vitamins is facing a negative development of 5 per cent in April 2007 versus April 2006, ACE drinks with natural vitamins could give new dynamics to this segment, said the company. With a history of supplying the beverage market with natural ingredients, the Heidelberg-based company is now aiming to become a market leader in the industry with the development of its range of natural vitamin products. The natural ACE beverage range incorporates a carrot juice for provitamin A and a juice concentrate derived from citrus fruits or acerola cherry for vitamin C. For vitamin E the company worked with soy oil, claiming that the oil loses its typical wheat-like after taste during processing. By creating vitamin-enriched beverages derived from juice concentrates and soy oil the company says, "it is not only possible to create highly natural beverage formulas, but also ensure the right amount of vitamins are added". The company is hoping to gain further recognition in the premium market with the natural ACE beverage range, and is expecting that this will cause sales figures to continue to rise. Wild is not the first company to make inroads into the healthy beverage industry, with many beverage firms increasingly seeking to offer functional products as consumers turn away from sugar-laden soft drinks in search for healthier alternatives. LycoRed has this week announced the development of a beverage fortification concept that highlights its expertise in antioxidants, the BLT, made up of Beta carotene, lutein, and tomato lycopene. Described as a "dispersible, all natural, ready-to-use formulation", the concept is intended to show customers the way towards making healthy beverages that also taste good, thus tapping to one of the hottest trends in the beverage market. Even the big players are in on the act: giant Coca Cola this year launched Diet Coke Plus, providing 15 percent of the daily value of Niacin, B6 and B12, 10 percent of the daily value for zinc and magnesium. The nutraceutical soft drink market is expected to reach $9.9bn in the US and $10.3bn in the EU by 2010, according to market researcher Business Insights. By including fruit derived vitamins, the company is also set to benefit from the notable trend within the category that is - at 28 percent - fruit drinks, which accounted for the largest proportion of nutraceutical launches in 2006.