Juice the best!
With delicious flavours and ultimate convenience, it’s a no-brainer why shoppers are keen to reach for juices and smoothies packed full of goodness. Read on to find out more about the brands and innovations making waves within this sector
22 December 2022
Irish consumers know that adding more fresh fruit and vegetables to their diets is one of the keys to living a healthier life. That’s why juices and smoothies – tasty, convenient, and packed full of goodness – are so popular.
Growing health awareness among consumers was exacerbated by the pandemic, driving up demand for different juice products at varying rates. As health and wellness trends dominated consumer behaviour, a significant focus was placed on the importance of nutritional properties, as well as organic and functional qualities of juice. This is according to a report from Euromonitor Ireland, which found that not from concentrate 100% juice outperforms the category average thanks to demand for its immune-boosting properties. Euromonitor added that on-the-go consumption on the rise as consumers spend increasing time outside of the home.
The report added that demand for fortified juice has continued to grow as immune system support and energy levels become fundamental concerns among consumers.
New usage occassions
Meanwhile, a report from Mintel entitled ‘UK Fruit Juice, Juice Drinks and Smoothies Market Report 2022’ also showed some interesting findings. Signalling huge potential for smoothies to take on a bigger role as delivering nutrition and break into new usage occasions, Mintel found that over half (66%) of under-35s would be interested in smoothies designed to be a meal replacement, as well as trying a juice cleanse/detox diet. In fact, according to Mintel, 69% of under-35s are interested in trying a juice cleanse/detox diet.
Mintel also found that soft drinks which have a carved a role as low-cost mood-boosters, with CSDs standing out in this respect, will be more insulated from consumers’ economising habits within grocery shopping, as the cost-of-living rises.
In a separate report entitled ‘Future Market Trends in Fruit Juice, Juice Drinks and Smoothies’, Mintel stated that lower sugar drinks will continue be a focus for shoppers, especially given the heightened focus on nutrition and weight management arising from the pandemic. Looking to less sweet flavours is a promising way to address this, while also appealing on the grounds of taste preferences.
The increased interested in functional food and drink likewise presents a major opportunity for this market, which can be harnessed more effectively by positioning these drinks as alternatives to daily vitamin and mineral supplements. A focus on emotional benefits, for example with drinks that forge associations with aiding concentration or relaxation, can also create compelling differentiation in the functional space, according to Mintel.
Immune health and functional benefits
Tying in with Euromonitor’s findings, Mintel also found that Covid-19 has accelerated consumer interest in immune health, a territory that juice excels in. While immune-boosting vitamins are a common feature in juice drinks, the immunity message has taken centre stage in new launches, led by Europe. Immune health claims started to gain pace in 2020, when the pandemic first hit, and spiked to new heights in 2021, outgrowing all other functional claims.
Mintel also found that added functional benefits are key to growth in the post-pandemic world. Beyond immune health, gut health and beauty are key areas of opportunity. Ultra-low sugar drinks and tech-powered innovation will also pave the way for a healthier future in the battle against sugar.
Looking towards juice and juice drinks market trends in five years and beyond, Mintel reported that as climate change looms over the world, consumers will look to track their carbon footprint in everything they buy and do. Eco labelling on products will become more standardized and informative.
Meanwhile, taking a closer look at ‘adult flavour horizons’, Mintel finds that consumers are ready for grown-up flavour adventures, and opportunities lie within the potential to “take consumers on a journey with destination flavours” and “tap the thirst for world drinks”.
Juicy vitamin boost
Deep RiverRock has introduced a new juicy vitamin boost drink Deep RiverRock Vital, on shelves across the Island of Ireland.
Deep RiverRock Vital gives consumers a refreshing new vitamin enhanced water and juice drink, packed full of deliciousness to support the mind and body, giving everyone the boost they need on-the-go. The juicy vitamin boost contains important vitamins and minerals that support mental performance, cognitive function and an energy boost throughout the day.
Deep RiverRock Vital is available in three flavours across the Island of Ireland in singular bottles of 450ml, which are all 100% recyclable and 100% recycled bottles. Deep RiverRock Vital will retail at €2 in ROI and £1.50 in NI per 450ml bottle.
Deep RiverRock Vital will be supported by a strong 360 marketing campaign investment across out-of-home (OOH), digital and media, sampling, social media advertising and influencer activity. On shelves now, shoppers can skip to the vital stuff and grab a Deep RiverRock Vital for a juicy vitamin boost.
Breakout year for ultra-fresh contender!
Irish functional healthy drinks brand SiSú is at the forefront of the ‘ultra-fresh category’ as it continues its expansion launching new wellness shots and plant milks early in the New Year.
Changing consumer trends push toward ultra-fresh
Since 2020, the juice markets across Europe have been changing, consumers are now switching from pasteurized long shelf life to ultra-fresh, raw products. The focus on low price has shifted to a willingness to spend more on 100% natural healthy products. The demand for healthier ready to go is high priority along with great taste and functionality.
92% agree that eating healthy is the most important factor for wellbeing, while 58% consumers globally proactively seek products which improve their health, looking at ingredients with positive impact on their health.
The following snapshot from GlobalData shows the relationship between ingredients and consumer benefits:
In Europe, the role of fresh, cold pressed juices is changing from convenience to destination. The Netherlands, a market leader in cold-pressed, are seeing the value share of long-life chilled juices decline whilst cold-pressed juices have value share of over 56%. Consumers are more conscious than ever about what products can help support their healthy lifestyles. There is huge opportunity where food meets health for brands like SiSú. Here in Ireland, we see this displayed extremely well within Dunnes Stores which has its own range of cold- pressed juices and shots alongside SiSú within the fresh fruit and vegetable section of stores.
Impressively, SiSú has won nine Guild of Fine Foods Great Taste awards, and the family-owned Irish business says it is driven by a passion for using the power of plant-based ingredients: creating a range of organic kombucha, cold-pressed wellness shots and juices.
Q&A with…Brian and Fiona McGann, SiSú co-founders
Q: What achievements are you most proud of in 2022 and why?
A: We are extremely proud to have won our first Two-Star Great Taste Award for our Simply Apple cold-pressed juice, we have now won nine Great Taste awards across our range. Our range is made with 100% fresh natural ingredients and functional vitamins within our shots that provide an individual’s recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of Vitamin C and D, both valuable for building immunity.
Q: How has the brand grown within the retail sector?
A: This year we have expanded our listings in forecourt operators Applegreen, Supermarkets chains Dunnes Stores, Musgrave and Tesco and worked closely with our partners in Sysco foods to drive sales across cafés and convenience, now available in over 1,000 stores nationwide.
2022 has been a breakout year for SiSú, with growth across the entire business.
Q: How have you marketed the brand and what are your plans for the coming year?
A: During 2022, we focused on social media and tasting events to market our brand. Seeing our brand organically grow with followers that appreciate our taste profile and natural ingredients is very satisfying. We have many high-profile celebrities comment when purchasing our brand within retail or online through their social media platforms which is a testament to the quality of our products.
We are very excited to expand our range of cold-pressed wellness shots with two new vitamin shots and the launch of new oat milks in early 2023 along with three new sparkling functional drinks in the early summer.
See www.sisu.ie for more information on these products.