As consumers desire fresh, better-for-you foods and beverages, the interest and adoption of high-pressure processing (HPP) is growing, according to a 2017 survey from Universal Pure, Villa Rica, Ga.

Food and beverage manufacturers and retailers are responding by producing and stocking more HPP products. In fact, 93.5 percent of retailers say they have been affected by consumer demand for fresh foods and/or beverages and are expanding their refrigerated sections and stocking more refrigerated and fresh products. “A little more than 78 percent of retailers go so far as to say they are favoring companies that produce fresh product options,” the survey says.

Producers and retailers see safety as one of the key reasons for using HPP, a non-thermal pasteurization that removes dangerous bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli, while helping the clean-label product retain nutritional value, vitamins, nutrients and natural flavors. HPP products also reduce spoilage and extend a beverage’s shelf life.

Helping consumers identify HPP products has gotten easier. In March, a new High Pressure Certified Seal, similar to the Organic Seal, is appearing for the first time on the outside of all Evolution Fresh juices carried at Starbucks and Kroger stores and other national grocery retailers.

“HPP is currently a $12 billion industry and is expected to double in the next six years,” said Ryan Zigelmann, president of Evolution Fresh for Starbucks Corp., in a statement.

In addition to juices, refrigerated soups, functional beverages and meal replacement drinks are fulfilling retailers’ and consumers’ HPP requests.