Although the U.S. Dietary Guidelines encourage Americans to eat more fruit, more than half are traditional options, such as bananas, apples, strawberries and oranges. Yet, as the beverage landscape has gotten more complex and exotic fruits have become more mainstream, consumers are experimenting with exotic fruits, including guaraná, lychee, dragon fruit, tamarind, pomegranate and mango for their exotic appeal, natural sweetness and enhanced, functional capabilities, according to ingredient suppliers.
Similar to the drops, twists and turns of popular amusement park rides, product fads can leave beverage-makers gasping for breath — and redirecting budgets. Take for example, pomegranate, formerly the most super of the superfruits, which has plausibly suffered the most due to consumers’ frequently fickle preferences.
Better-for-you beverages continue to appeal to consumers, and beverage companies continue to find ways to address that trend. According to Chicago-based Mintel Group Ltd.’s “Juice and Juice Drinks” report, 5 percent of launches from January to June 2011 contained antioxidants, which represents a 1 percent increase from the previous period. The report adds that many launches sourced their antioxidant content from superfruits such as acai berries, blueberries, cranberries and pomegranates.
Pom Wonderful expanded its Pom line of pomegranate juice cocktails with Lite Pom, a lighter version of its original Pom juice that is 100 percent natural and contains no added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Available in the produce section of grocery stores nationwide, Lite Pom comes in Pomegranate, Pomegranate Black Currant, Pomegranate Blackberry and Pomegranate Dragonfruit flavors. The new product contains the same antioxidants as original Pom, but with fewer calories, the company says. Lite Pom is available in a 16-ounce size of the brand’s curvaceous bottle for a suggested retail price of $2.49.