All that juice

As of Nov. 20, the juice category saw nearly 200 new product launches in 2007, which will keep the category on par with the number of releases it saw last year, according to Mintel’s Global New Products Database, Chicago. What is different about the launches this year are the fortifications and target consumers, instead of the flavor extensions and low-calorie options released during the past few years.

Leading the innovation this year in the juice category is PepsiCo’s Naked Juice Probiotic, Nestlé’s Juicy Juice Harvest Surprise, The Coca-Cola Co.’s Minute Maid Enhanced Juices and Frutzzo Natural Juice LLC’s Frutzzo Yumberry.

Naked Juice Probiotic

Naked Juice Co., Azusa, Calif.

In September, Naked Juice released Naked Juice Probiotic, a 100 percent juice smoothie that is one of the first juices containing probiotics. Consistent with Naked Juice’s other juices and smoothies, the all-natural, no-preservative and no-sugar-added drink also has the added benefits of probiotics and prebiotics. Tropical Mango Naked Juice Probiotic is a five-juice blend, including mango, orange and pineapple, that contains bifidobacterium, which aids in digestive and immune health. The product also contains prebiotics to stimulate the good bacteria that already are in the digestive tract. Packaged in a 10-ounce container instead of the typical 15.2-ounce Naked Juice bottle, Naked Juice Probiotic is sized for its probiotic content, and provides two servings of fruit in each bottle.

“What we’ve done at Naked Juice is developed and brought to market the first 100 percent juice product with a probiotic and a prebiotic in it,” Adam Carr, Naked Juice Co.’s general manager, told Beverage Industry in its October issue.

Juicy Juice Harvest Surprise

Nestlé USA Inc.,
Glendale, Calif.

Targeting children’s nutrition needs and making it easier for parents to sneak fruits and vegetables into their kids’ diets, Nestlé USA released Nestlé Juicy Juice Harvest Surprise, a 100 percent fruit and vegetable juice. An 8-ounce glass of Harvest Surprise provides two combined servings of fruits and vegetables (two-thirds servings of vegetables and one and one-third servings of fruit). Available in three flavors — Orange Mango, Grape and Tropical — each variety is made with fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, grapes, mangos, pears and apples. In addition, Harvest Surprise provides 120 percent of the daily value of vitamin C.

Minute Maid Enhanced Juices

Coca-Cola North America, Atlanta

Also targeting specific health needs, Coca-Cola North America developed Minute Maid Enhanced Juices, a line of 100 percent juices and juice blends that offer functional health benefits. The Minute Maid Enhanced Juice line includes the recently introduced Minute Maid Pomegranate Blueberry, enhanced with 50 mg. of Martek Biosciences Corp.’s life’sDHA Omega-3/DHA per 8-ounce serving, as well as choline and vitamins E, C and B12. The line also features Minute Maid Multi-Vitamin, containing 16 vitamins and minerals; Minute Maid Active, offering 750 mg. of glucosamine HC1; and Minute Maid Heart Wise. Minute Maid Enhanced Juices are offered in 59-ounce PET bottles featuring a contemporary design and easy-pour side grip.

Introducing a new superfruit to the market, Frutzzo Natural Juice LLC released Frutzzo Yumberry juice and juice blends that are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber and nutrients. The yumberry is a sub-tropical fruit that is rich in oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs), antioxidants that help 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.

Frutzzo Yumberry

Frutzzo Natural Juice LLC

The ruby colored 100 percent juice contains no preservatives, added sugars or colors. Packaged in 12-ounce glass bottles, the line is 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.

Invigorating diet cola

Carbonated soft drinks, or sparkling beverages if you will, saw the most innovative release on their lighter side.

Diet Pepsi Max
Pepsi-Cola North America,
Purchase, N.Y.

Bolder moves for beer

Intending to wake people up, Pepsi-Cola North America debuted Diet Pepsi Max, a zero-calorie cola with extra caffeine and a touch of ginseng. The value-added formulation is specially designed for 25- to 34-year-old diet drinkers, as well as “transitioners” — those making the switch from regular colas to diets — to help get them through the day. Diet Pepsi Max is sweetened with a blend of aspartame and acesulfame potassium. Available in 20-ounce bottles, 2-liter bottles and 12-packs of 12-ounce cans, Diet Pepsi Max hit stores nationwide in June.

Aiming to heat up domestic beer sales, Miller put a “Chill” in the air with the launch of Miller Chill. An alternative in light beers, Miller Chill is based on the Mexican chelada. This American take on the Mexican specialty is a light beer with a hint of lime and salt that is formulated to pair well with spicy and flavorful foods.

Miller Brewing President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Long at The National Beer Wholesalers Association’s 70th Annual Convention and Trade show in Las Vegas said Miller Chill sold more than 5 million cases during its first seven months on the market. The product touches on three major trends — light products, premiumization and “Latinization” — and the need for faster, bolder moves by brand owners, he said. The company moved up its launch of Chill a full year when it realized its potential, and put aside fears that the product might be too seasonal or skewed too much to women. Long said the product's refreshing flavor profile and new consumer appeal were essential to its success.

Miller Chill
Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee

Alternative health and energy

This year, consumers still are calling for healthier options and also selecting products with additional energy. With caffeine levels comparable to a cup of coffee, Organic Guayakí Yerba Mate Fusions offer energy by maté’s natural stimulates theobromines and theophyllines. Guayakí Yerba Mate Fusions line of Pure Endurance, Pure Passion and Pure Mind Fusions provide a boost of nutrition and benefits from several herbs that are blended with organic fruit juices and other organic ingredients. Pure Endurance is said to provide sustained energy due to an infusion of yerba maté, ginseng and electrolytes from Himalayan salt blended with tangerine juice and acerola juice. Pure Passion awakens libidos with an infusion of yerba maté, damiana and catuaba blended with passion fruit juice, the company says. Pure Mind encourages clear brain function with yerba maté, gingko biloba and tulsi blended with pomegranate juice.

Organic Guayakí Yerba Mate Fusions
Guayakí, Sebastopol, Calif.

Enhanced waters

Better-for-you products reinvigorated the enhanced bottled water selection too. Several new products and line extensions entered the market this year, but Coca-Cola North America’s Dasani Plus and Tropicana Squeeze stand out in the field with vitamin-enhanced and low-calorie offerings.

Dasani Plus
Coca-Cola North America, Atlanta

Coca-Cola North America extended its Dasani brand with Dasani Plus. The vitamin-enhanced flavored water beverages come in three varieties: Refresh + Revive, Cleanse + Restore and Defend + Protect. Refresh + Revive is Kiwi Strawberry flavored, and has 10 percent of the recommended daily intake (RDI) per serving of vitamins B3, B6 and B12. Cleanse + Restore is Pomegranate Blackberry flavored and contains 10 percent of the RDI per serving of vitamins E, B3, B6 and B12, plus 1 gram of fiber. Defend + Protect is Orange Tangerine flavored, and provides 10 percent of the RDI per serving of vitamin E and zinc.

PepsiCo sweetened its new water line with a little Tropicana fruit juice. Each 8-ounce serving of Tropicana Fruit Squeeze contains 20 calories, creating a low-calorie beverage that hopes to help consumers reach the recommended goal of drinking nine to 13 glasses of water per day. Fruit Squeeze is offered in four flavors: Summer Lemon, Tropical Tangerine, Lime Raspberry and Pink Grapefruit.

Tropicana Fruit Squeeze
PepsiCo Inc., Purchase, N.Y.

A new take on coffee

Ready-to-drink coffees received a new entry from a national coffee store chain and Coca-Cola in 2007, while an energy drink brand offered a java-flavored fix.

Caribou Iced Coffees
Coca-Cola North America, Atlanta

Coca-Cola North America and Caribou Coffee launched a line of premium ready-to-drink iced coffees in cities in the Midwest and Southeast. The line stands apart from other iced coffees with a light profile vs. others in the category that are more heavily dairy based. Caribou Iced Coffee is available in three flavors — Regular, Espresso and Vanilla — and is packaged in 12-ounce reclosable Alumi-Tek aluminum bottles from Ball Corp. The products initially are available in convenience stores and other retails outlets, and in Caribou Coffee shops.

Monster Beverage Co., part of Hansen Beverage Co., rolled out Java Monster. Positioned for RTD coffee lovers who would prefer an edgier product, Java Monster delivers the taste of coffee with the same energy formula as Monster Energy drink. Packaged in 15-ounce cans, Java Monster is available in Loca Moca, Mean Bean and Big Black.

Java Monster
Hansen Beverage Co., Corona, Calif.

Sporty energy

Hydration plays a key role in the sports drink category, and Arizona Beverages’ Hypotonic Performance Sports Drink offers a unique introduction to the segment. Additionally, while the release of new energy drinks has slowed, distinction in the category is still important with many players. Del Monte Foods’ Bloom Energy found its niche by focusing on women.

Hypotonic Performance Sports Drink
Arizona Beverages, Lake Success, N.Y.

Arizona Beverages and tennis superstar Andy Roddick teamed up to create Hypotonic Performance Sports Drink. Hypotonic Performance’s formula increases the rate of fluid absorption by the body’s cells, the company says. The sports drink is fortified with calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamins A and E and amino acids. Hypotonic Performance is packaged in 20-ounce PET bottles with graphics depicting Andy Roddick on the label. The drink initially launched in New York, Florida and Chicago.

Bloom Energy
Del Monte Foods, San Francisco

Del Monte Foods debuted its first energy drink, Bloom Energy, which is formulated for women. The drink contains fruit juice, is lightly carbonated and is available in Wild Berry, Cran Raspberry and Mango Passionfruit flavors. A 10.5-ounce can contains 100 calories, and offers a full serving of fruit, as well as vitamins and nutrients, including calcium, vitamin C and D, and five B vitamins. Bloom Energy is caffeinated with white tea extract.

Tea's time

New product introductions for the tea category have slowed this year compared to last, but companies are still taking time to rejuvenate their lines and introduce entire new lines geared toward the better-for-you market.

Weil for Tea
Ito En Inc., New York, N.Y.

Ito En entered into a partnership with Andrew Weil, a pioneer in integrative medicine, to develop a line of tea beverages, which include ready-to-drink teas, loose-leaf teas, matcha green teas and turmeric tea. Ito En was the first company to offer an RTD form of turmeric, a drink that follows in the cultural traditions of Okinawa, a Japanese island known for the longevity of its residents.

The brand’s mantra is “InTeagrate your life!,” which calls consumers to incorporate the benefits of tea into daily health regimes, the company says. The ready-to-drink teas in 245-ml. cans are available in Turmeric, Green White, Gyokuro, Jasmine White and Darjeeling. The tea bags are offered in Sencha with Matcha, Jasmine Green Tea, Genmaimatcha and Darjeeling. The loose leaf teas include White Peony, Jasmine Pearl, Sencha with Matcha, Genmaimatcha and Matcha varieties. Sencha and Genmaimatcha also are presented in loose leaf tea packs.

Lipton PureLeaf
PepsiCo Inc., Purchase, N.Y.

The Pepsi-Lipton Tea Partnership rebranded its Lipton Original line, as Lipton PureLeaf. With all-natural ingredients, new packaging and updated graphics, Lipton PureLeaf contains no artificial flavors or colors.

“Consumers have told us how important it is that their tea is pure, straight from the leaf, as nature intended,” said Stacy Reichert, vice president and general manager, Pepsi-Lipton Tea Partner-ship, in a statement.

The regular versions are sweetened with sugar, and the two diet varieties are sweetened with sucralose. The 11 varieties are available in Green, White and Black teas, including Green Tea with Honey, White Tea with Tangerine, Black Tea Sweetened, Black Tea Unsweetened, Black Tea with Lemon and Black Tea with Raspberry, and are packaged in 16-ounce glass bottles.

Snapple Black and Red Teas
Cadbury Schweppes
Americas Beverages,
Rye Brook, N.Y.

Additionally, Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages revamped its tea lines this year with the launch of Snapple Classic Black Teas and Snapple Red Teas. The new varieties join Snapple White and Green Teas, which were launched in 2006, and offer an organized platform of tea varieties for consumers. The Classic Black Teas feature traditional hot tea flavors such as English Breakfast, Earl Grey and Orange Pekoe for traditional tea enthusiasts. Made with brewed tea and lightly sweetened with sugar, the black tea blends contain 35 to 40 calories per serving and offer antioxidants. Snapple Red Teas are naturally caffeine-free teas that contain antioxidants and vitamin C. Made from the Rooibos plant found only in South Africa, Rooibos is an herbal tea that is sweeter and fruitier than black or green tea. Rooibos, which is Afrikaans for red bush, develops its signature red color during the fermentation process, when the leaves of the plant oxidize. Snapple Red Teas are available in Acai Mixed Berry, Peach Pomegranate and Mandarin Tangerine.