A Juicier Ride

The Juice Category has Seen a Surge of Interest in Organic Label Claims During the Past Year, Report Industry Experts. Organic Claims Were up 17.3 Percent in 2005, up From 13.7 Percent in 2004, and 8.5 Percent in 2003, Productscan Online, Naples, N.y., Reports.
Major player Ocean Spray, Lakeville-Middleboro, Mass., added an organic line last fall, with three organic 100 percent juice blends: Cranberry, Cranberry Blueberry and Cranberry Raspberry. All three are certified USDA Organic and carry the organic seal.
Meanwhile, juice products claiming to be low in calories or to have no calories at all have seen a decline during the past year, primarily because many companies were chasing the low-carb fad. A similar situation happened with low-sugar and no-sugar type product claims, which are both down, too, Productscan says.
Beverage companies still are listening to consumers watching their calories, even if they aren’t on a particular diet. Ocean Spray created Diet Ocean Spray Juice Drinks that are said to be an “excellent source” of vitamin C and have 5 calories per 8-ounce serving. Both varieties, Cranberry Spray and Orange Citrus Spray, debuted in March in 1-liter, 12-ounce and 16-ounce bottles.
Also reducing calories, Old Orchard Brands LLC, Sparta, Mich., added Healthy Balance Prune juice cocktail with 65 percent less sugar and 25 percent more fiber than the leading brand of 100 percent prune juice to its Healthy Balance line. It also is fortified with calcium, providing 10 percent of the body’s daily calcium, and contains 130 percent of the daily requirement of vitamin C with each 8-ounce serving. In addition, Leading Brands Inc., Vancouver, British Columbia, launched LiteBlue Reduced Calorie Blueberry Juice Cocktail. Sweetened with a combination of cane sugar and Splenda, LiteBlue contains 50 percent fewer calories than the company’s line of TrueBlue Blueberry Cocktails. Available in Blueberry and Blueberry Raspberry, the lighter formulation comes in a 64-ounce PET bottle.
Top 10 refrigerated juices by variety
ORANGE JUICE $2,568,531,000 -3.2
FRUIT DRINK $675,596,300 0.2
BLENDED FRUIT JUICE $211,712,100 3.9
LEMONADE $132,881,200 25.7
ALL OTHER FRUIT JUICE $102,455,600 39.3
GRAPEFRUIT JUICE $64,791,070 -11.6
CIDER $48,462,420 4.6
FRUIT NECTAR $18,269,640 14.7
CATEGORY TOTAL* $3,962,507,000 0.1
* Includes categories not shown
Source: Information Resources Inc., Total food, drug and mass merchandise (excluding Wal-Mart) for the 52 weeks ending June 18, 2006.
In the area of fortified juices, Tropicana Products Inc., a division of PepsiCo Inc., released Tropicana Pure Premium Essentials with Fiber. The juice delivers 3 grams of fiber in an 8-ounce serving, which is as much fiber as a medium-sized orange. Available in a 64-ounce carton, Tropicana Pure Premium with Fiber joins Tropicana’s Essentials line of products, which are intended to meet the individual nutritional needs of consumers.
Juices that naturally boast a wealth of nutrients, such as pomegranate and newcomer acai, are riding a wave of popularity. Acai, a rainforest berry from Brazil with a very high antioxidant content, has followed in the footsteps of pomegranate juice, which proved there is a market for high-end fruit drinks. One of the newest acai products is Los Angeles-based Bossa Nova Beverage Group’s Acai Juice in Original, Mango and Passionfruit flavors. The refrigerated line of 10-ounce bottles is lightly sweetened with organic agave and contains 70 percent of the RDA for vitamin A and 170 percent of the RDA for vitamin C.
Top 10 bottled juices by variety
FRUIT DRINKS $767,781,700 -2.7
APPLE JUICE $511,186,400 -4.5
FRUIT JUICE BLEND $275,367,300 14.2
GRAPE JUICE $219,368,300 1.4
LEMONADE $120,254,600 -15.8
LEMON/LIME JUICE $89,736,010 1.4
PRUNE/FIG JUICE $80,043,540 2.0
CATEGORY TOTAL* $3,465,031,000 -0.2
* Includes categories not shown
Source: Information Resources Inc., Total food, drug and mass merchandise (excluding Wal-Mart) for the 52 weeks ending June 18, 2006.
Coca-Cola’s Odwalla added the flavor of pomegranate to its juice lineup with new Odwalla PomaGrand 100 percent juices in three varieties: PomaGrand Pomegranate Juice, Pomegranate Mango and Pomegranate Berry. In addition to pomegranate, the drinks are enhanced with wild berry extract – a blend of chokeberry, elderberry, blueberry and black currant – which provides a smooth taste, and a collection of anthocyanins, which have antioxidant properties. All three varieties are a good source of potassium.
Sundia Corp., San Francisco, added three new blended watermelon juice mixes: Watermelon Pomegranate, Watermelon Blackberry and Watermelon Lime. Sundia blended watermelon juice with richly colored fruit juices to create an antioxidant powerhouse loaded with lycopene from the watermelon juice base. All three are made with 100 percent juice and contain no preservatives or added sugar.
Global juice drink volume (MILLIONS OF LITERS)
FRUIT/VEGETABLE JUICE 51,081.9 52,915.3
100% JUICE 21,304 21,822.2
NECTARS (25-99% JUICE) 10,234.6 10,710.4
JUICE DRINKS (UP TO 24% JUICE) 16,856.2 17,699.6
Source: Euromonitor International, 2006
And Los Angeles-based Pom Wonderful has added 8-ounce plastic bottle packaging for three of its antioxidant-rich flavors: 100% Pomegranate, Pom Blueberry, and Pom Cherry.
The fact that Pom products are sold in produce sections of supermarkets highlights the fruit juice’s healthy image. “Not a lot of [juice] companies are targeting that area of the supermarket,” says Tom Vierhile, director of Productscan Online. “It has a healthier halo when it’s purchased in the produce section — fresher, more of a pure image.”
In fact, juice products overall should continue to benefit from consumers’ focus on health and wellness, which shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. “I think juices are primed to pick up share from soft drinks,” he says. BI