The new range will be marketed under the Lerum No Sugar Added range and will be available in approximately 90 per cent of all leading Norwegian retail outlets from May 2006.
The range comes in three flavours - mixed fruit (apple, pear, cherry and grapes), raspberry and grape, and orange.
The new range follows growing consumer concern over calorific consumption and the presence of sugar in processed food and beverages. The zero-calorie properties of Splenda, Tate & Lyle's patented sucralose product, means that the final beverage contains only 12 kcal per 100cl, which come from the fruit itself.
"We were keen to use Splenda Sucralose in the new no-added-sugar Lerum range because we knew it would enable us to take out the added sugar, as required for our light range, and still retain the great fruity taste our customers expect from our brand," said Jan Petter Vadheim, managing director of the Lerum companies.
"Because Splenda Sucralose is made from sugar and tastes like sugar, it was always our sweetener of choice. In addition, we knew that Tate & Lyle would work with us to deliver the whole package - by collaborating with their R+D team, we have been able to bring to market a fantastic no-sugar-added fruit-based drink that delivers a significant calorie reduction with all the taste expected from an established brand like Lerum."
The launch of the no-added-sugar Lerum range coincides with the retail launch of the Splenda tabletop range in Norway by McNeil Nutritionals.
"With the launch of the Splenda tabletop product in Norway, awareness of Splenda brand products will be very high," said Vadheim.
"Consumers will increasingly associate the logo with the great taste of Splenda Sucralose and brand recognition will be enhanced by the launch."
Tate & Lyle claims that Splenda is ideal for any producer looking to change a product formulation or extend a product range because it is heat and shelf stable and retains sweetness during all commonly used food and beverage manufacturing processes.
The product has enjoyed success in the European beverage market with uptake in branded and own-label carbonates, cordials, light juices, flavoured waters, fruit teas and powdered drinks, though there has been some concern that the firm's patents may not remain watertight for much longer.
FoodNavigator broke the story in January that an Indian supplier claimed to have found a way of producing sucralose without contravening Tate & Lyle's patents.
Tate & Lyle also supplies the food industry in Scandinavia with key customers in dairy, fruit preparation and spreads and light alcoholic beverages.