In its first ever market report, the European Fruit Juice Association (AIJN) said the recession took 1.2 per cent off total consumption levels, reducing volumes drunk across all EU-27 countries to 11260 million litres.
In addition to the slight drop in total consumption, there was a shift in spending towards more affordable products.
Private label growth
Branded juice consumption fell 6.1 per cent and volumes of private label juices were up 4 per cent, taking the unbranded share of the market to 52 per cent. This shift occurred despite a closing of the price gap between branded and private label juices led by brands turning to price promotions to defend their market share.
Another illustration of trading down in the juice market is seen in the performance of ambient as opposed to chilled juices, as ambient volumes remained static and volumes of chilled products fell 2 per cent.
Despite the comparative weakness of the juice market in 2009, the report was upbeat about the prospects for juice in the coming years, as it is a good fit with the trend for convenient, healthy and tasty products.
“In this age of health and wellbeing the market is ripe for growth,” said the report.
Zenith market analyst Gary Roethenbaugh added: “There are tremendous opportunities for juice and nectars at the moment, as the category capitalises on its health and wellbeing virtues.”
It went on to say that juice has good capacity for growth as annual consumption in the EU is only 23 litres per person. By way of comparison, consumption of beer stands at about 76 litres per person and carbonated soft drink consumption is 76 litres a head.
“The comparatively low volume per head against all these competing categories indicates that juice and nectar have the opportunity to deliver strong and resurgent growth in the years ahead.”
The AIJN is a European trade association representing the interests of everyone from fruit processors to packers.