Frutzzo LLC: Antioxidant Driven
By ELIZABETH FUHRMAN
In a world with a variety
of juice options, how does a company stand out? Frutzzo LLC, Alpine, Utah,
says it gets attention because it won’t put any product on the market that isn’t high in antioxidants.
“Our focus with our juices is to offer the
highest antioxidant juices that we can,” says Terry Xanthos,
president and co-founder of Frutzzo. “We noticed that other companies
always had one or two juices that are focused on antioxidants, but we felt
that’s where we needed to be. Eight years later, we see that
everybody is focused on antioxidants, no matter what it is.”
The company that carries a line of organic and natural
100 percent pomegranate juices began in 1997 as a juice bar company with a
group of stores throughout Minnesota. In 1999, the family-owned company
decided to start bottling a few of its most popular smoothies from its
menu. From the line of seven juice smoothies came Frutzzo’s first
juice, Pomegranate Cherry, which the company launched in 2002.
Xanthos, whose father is from Greece and his mother
from Brazil, took to pomegranate because he observed the popularity of the
superfruit in Greece when he visited family. Because of Xanthos’s
Brazilian ancestry, the president also felt drawn to acai, and became one
of the first companies to import acai from Brazil.
“We were fortunate to jump on the two biggest
superfruits,” Xanthos says.
After the launch of Pom Wonderful and the increased
demand for pomegranate juices, Frutzzo in 2003 set aside its smoothie line
and expanded its pomegranate juice line to five single-serve juices: 100
percent Pomegranate, Pomegranate Blueberry, Pomegranate Raspberry,
Pomegranate Cherry and Pomegranate Acai.
A year later, the company released the first organic
100 percent Pomegranate Juice, it says. Frutzzo now offers seven
USDA-certified organic juices, including single-serve bottles of
Pomegranate Blueberry, Pomegranate Raspberry, Pomegranate Passion Fruit and
Pomegranate Acai, and two 2-liter options.
Currently, the company’s sales are split between
its organic and natural lines. “Most people would say 20 percent of
their product line sales come from organic, but we have a 50/50 focus on
organics,” Xanthos says. “Now, there are like 7,000 products
that have pomegranate in them, but we remain one of the few organic
pomegranate juice options.”
Small fish, big pond
Frutzzo began as and still is a small business,
Xanthos says. But competing with Pom Wonderful drove Frutzzo to improve its
“Our product was being placed next to it, and we
always felt that it had the best bottle in the
industry,” Xanthos says. “We felt like we needed to do
everything that we could do to get to that level.”
Xanthos contacted his brother George Xanthos, who
works as a designer for Nike Inc., to design a package that was going to be
as high quality as the juice inside. In October 2006, Frutzzo launched a
12-ounce contoured glass bottle decorated with pastel-colored applied
ceramic labeling that also features the Frutzzo name and logo embossed on
the bottle. After going through eight bottle changes in the line’s
lifecycle, the Frutzzo-designed glass bottle won a 2007 Clear Choice Award
for best Organic Beverage from the Glass Packaging Institute. The
award-winning bottle marks the first time the company designed its own
bottle. Frutzzo chose glass because it believes that the material has a
perception of quality.
“We decided to go to glass mainly because we
felt like we wanted to have a sustainable package, but No. 2, we wanted our
product to be as protected as possible,” Xanthos explains.
“Because there is no air coming into the bottle and oxidizing the
juice, it’s very hard to have the juice change in taste.
“No. 3 was preservation of antioxidants,”
he continues. “We felt that if we were in a glass bottle, then our
antioxidants would stay at the highest levels.”
Frutzzo isn’t stopping with packaging
innovations as a way to reach consumers. Frutzzo is targeted at women
between the ages of 16 and 60, but attracts health-conscious consumers of
both genders. With the road paved in the superjuice category, consumers
today are looking for additional high-antioxidant juices, much more than
when Frutzzo launched its juices just four years before, Xanthos says.
Hence the launch in September of Frutzzo Yumberry
juice and juice blends that are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber and other
nutrients. The yumberry is a sub-tropical fruit that is rich in oligomeric
proanthocyanidins (OPCs), antioxidants that helps boost the immune system,
protect the body against internal and environmental stresses and defend
against cardiovascular and other degenerative diseases and premature aging,
Frutzzo says. OPCs have been shown to lower blood pressure, help lower LDL
cholesterol levels and increase strength and elasticity of blood vessels
while slowing down the collapse of collagen, which keeps skin firm and
wrinkle free, the company says.
The ruby-colored 100 percent juices also are available in natural and organic varieties. The natural
offerings are 100 percent Yumberry, Yumberry Pomegranate, Yumberry
Blueberry and Yumberry Cherry, and the three organic options are 100
percent Yumberry, Yumberry Pomegranate and Yumberry Blueberry.
Packaged in the same company-designed 12-ounce glass
bottles, Yumberry’s organic line appears in a similar design and
ceramic labeling as the Frutzzo Organic Pomegranate line. To differentiate
the Yumberry natural line, the company developed a shrink-sleeve label to
go over the bottle. The label is clear in the middle to display the juice.
The natural Frutzzo Pomegranate line is going to switch to this package as
well, Xanthos says. “We felt like we needed to make a change on the
natural side,” he explains.
Xanthos says he is highly optimistic about
yumberry’s benefits and marketing potential. “I got really
excited about the name of the fruit,” he says.
The company has contracts for 80 percent of the
world’s supply of yumberry. “The reason that we did that is
because we’re going to do our best to introduce the line and we want
to make sure we have enough supply to accommodate all of our
customers,” he says. Frutzzo plans to heavily promote Yumberry in
In keeping with its superjuice and high antioxidant
focus, Frutzzo plans to introduce more natural and organic superjuices next
year, including more acai products, mangosteen and goji offerings, and new superfruits from Brazil that haven’t been
released in the United States yet. Frutzzo also
plans to expand into Europe and Japan in 2008.
“We’re going to be a super superjuice
company,” Xanthos says.