The Squeeze on Juice

U.S. Trends

  • • Largest decline in the juice category (2011-2012) was seen in the juice drinks segment (drinks containing up to 24% fruit juice)
  • • Fruit-flavored drinks (which contain no fruit juice) are growing in popularity. “It’s a substitute for consumers switching away from carbonates,” says Feliciano.
  • • The decline of 100% juice has slowed. “With the advent of HPP technology, where consumers are being given the option of a more expensive, but closer to raw juice, there is high potential for that segment to grow,” says Feliciano says. “We are going to find out over the next two years whether that will grow beyond the niche market that it currently occupies.”
  • • “High price points are excluding some consumers from the 100% juice segment to begin with,” notes Feliciano. “There is more competition with different blends and mid-calorie juice drinks that take away from the 100% juice movement especially with the high-calorie intake.”
  • • Aloe is one flavor that has potential for growth. Though it’s a niche product currently, the health and wellness properties such as digestion, could give this flavor a boost as consumers look for functional products.


Global Trends

  • • “A lot of these fruit drinks represent the next step of soft drink evolution for growing economies,” says Feliciano as consumers in developing nations move away from concentrates to packaged juice drinks.
  • • Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid Pulpy continues to perform well in markets like China giving consumers a more fresh fruit juice feel as it contains pulp. It’s also an affordable product when compared with 100% fruit juice that is sold in the country.
  • • Flavors like lychee and blackcurrant are growing in popularity in Asian markets while fruits like mango are more prevalent in certain tropical climates.

 

Consumers Relate Calories with Good for You
Jonas Feliciano, beverages analyst for Euromonitor International, shares some U.S. and global trends for the juice category

 

Country Highlight: Russia
Lighter is Better

In Russia there is a rise of fruit drinks with less fruit juice content, according to a recent report released by Canadean, a U.K.-based market research firm.

“The trend towards lighter juice drinks in Russia has mainly been driven by beverage producers rather than by consumer trends,” says Adele Deane, lead analyst, soft drinks, Canadean. “As the cost of juice concentrate has risen, producers have re-formulated brands with a lower juice content, including market leaders, to cut costs.”

Last year, consumption of juice drinks with a juice content of 0-24.9 percent saw a significant rise as producers are now offering more juices that fall under this category. In 2012, consumption of 100 percent juice drinks was the lowest it’s been in a decade as consumers look for drinks with less sugar.

“The rise of lower juice content drinks has been supported by an increase in consumer preference for ‘lighter drinks’ as these are perceived to contain less sugar and therefore fewer calories,” adds Deane.

The flavor profile of juice drinks has also changed in Russia as orange became the leading flavor last year, replacing cherry, tripling in volume in one year. Other flavors that are also emerging are pear and aloe.

 

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