Private label corners real juice trend

Related tags United kingdom Europe

Consumers are rapidly falling in love with bona fide, 100 per cent
juice across developed markets, yet it is private labels that are
reaping the benefits in Western Europe, says new research,
writes Chris Mercer.

Global volumes of not from concentrate (NFC) juice have risen 68 per cent over the last seven years, way in front of the 42 per cent growth achieved by the wider juice sector, according to a report by market research group Euromonitor.

The premium NFC category is heavily concentrated on developed soft drinks markets, with the US, UK, France, Canada and Australia accounting for 70 per cent of global volume sales.

And it is consumers' demands for health and convenience, those usual suspects, that are helping NFC to become a big money spinner for producers.

Retail value sales have risen 90 per cent in the UK since 1997 and, globally, NFC juice makes up 14 per cent of juice market value, while only constituting 10 per cent of the juice market volume.

But, in Western Europe, branded players are getting sidelined in one of the juice market's best growing categories.

The rise of food retail conglomerates in the UK and discounters in Germany has fostered a forceful private label surge in NFC juices. Private label now accounts for 49 per cent and 48 per cent of retail NFC sales in the UK and Germany respectively.

In the UK, Europe's biggest NFC market, private labels have undermined brands by launching freshly squeezed juices with a shorter, seven-day shelf-life. "The health aspect of freshly squeezed juice is perhaps the principal priority for UK consumers,"​ says Euromonitor.

The private label shift has also been achieved in the UK, despite little price disparity between it and branded NFCs. A typical Sainsbury's NFC juice costs about £2.48 (€3.73) per litre and in Tesco about £2.56, while PepsiCo's Tropicana costs around £2.64.

In Germany, "Tropicana (PepsiCo) has experienced a devastating slide in market shares. Retail volume shares have been cannibalised by private labels, dropping from 20 per cent in 2000 to 2.3 per cent in 2004,"​ says Euromonitor.

More attention from discounters like Aldi and Lidl, improved quality and a sluggish economy are the main reasons for private labels' NFC swoop in Germany.

The problem for branded NFC players may also become more widespread as top retailers go in search of new markets to conquer, such as Tesco's expansion in Eastern Europe.

Euromonitor points out that the highly consolidated food retail markets in the UK and Germany "enable major supermarkets to command supreme power of shelf space, and their own brands are given priority in terms of shelf visibility"​.

Tropicana, the world's leading NFC brand, still accounts for 40 per cent of retail volume sales and 37 per cent of value sales globally. This success is underpinned by the firm's 70 per cent share of volume sales in the US homeland.

Yet, private labels have undoubtedly become more sophisticated as retailers develop, and branded producers, even Tropicana, could be in for a fight over NFCs in a number of emerging and established markets.

Related topics Markets Juice drinks

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