Fruit juice boost from exports, marketing and new products
Fresh juice exports, additional domestic marketing and new products from new companies will all help stimulate the fruit juice sector, delegates were told at the Citrus Market Outlook Forum.
Although there is overall decline in the juice sector, further inspection shows chilled juice has declined by less than 5%, while juice bars like Boost are growing by 25-30%, as are sales for juices cleanses.
Bill Nikolovski, CEO of the Food Revolution Group (formerly Langtech), told Forum delegates that the same consumers concerned about sugar levels and preservatives in juice could be won back, if their concerns are addressed.
The Food Revolution Group is an Australian public company that operates state-of-the-art fruit and vegetable processing facility, manufacturing a range of high quality juices, fibres, infused fruits and waters, and bio-actives.
“We are moving towards functional food, delivering nutritional value from food, so people don’t have to have supplements,” Mr Nikolovski said.
“We have the capability of delivering that in the form of juice, a bar or a cereal.”
The Food Revolution Group are also planning to launch juice-based products that aren’t “juices”, including infused waters using fruit rather than flavouring, and a range of tonics, allowing consumers to take a 100ml shot, rather than a vitamin table.
“We will push the health benefits of natural fruit.”
To achieve all this, Mr Nikolovski said his company required Australian-grown citrus.
Moree grower, Dick Estens, is now exporting fresh juice under the ‘Grove – Only Fresh’ label, to Korea, Japan and Malaysia.
They are receiving $8.90 for two litre bottles in South Korea. Mr Estens said there only competitor is frozen juice from Florida, which sells at $10.90 for 1.75 litres.
“There has been a drop off in Valencias but going forward I think it will correct and prices should pick up for the juice sector,” Mr Estens said.
Fruit Juice Australia CEO, Geoff Parker, told delegates last year’s fruit juice campaign received enormous coverage from the media, due in large part to spokesperson, Robyn Lawley.
“However, to start changing conversation and behaviour, we need to continue the activity,” he said.
Mr Parker said the focus of this year’s campaign will be that juice is a ‘nutrient powerhouse: diet quality improves with juice’. This is based on research that people who consumed fruit juice on the day of the survey had a better quality diet than people who didn’t.
Most importantly, Fruit Juice Australia requires additional financing to fund a campaign this year, and Mr Parker stressed the importance of support from “growers and retailers”.