In yesterday’s article, Adomas Pranevicius (AP, pictured below) explained why his firm – which counts clients in the Nordic region, UK, France, Germany and Eastern Europe – had high hopes for (1) Iced Tea Innovations, (2) Unique Kvass and (3) Morning Drinks.
Despite high demand for reduced sugar or sugar-free drinks, Pranevicius tells Ben Bouckley that he does not usually recommend that clients formulate drinks using stevia.
“I see a lot of new brands in Europe launching with stevia, but at the end of the day it can’t replace sugar, and we do not suggest to our clients to use stevia as a natural sweetener,” Pranevicius says.
“We’re trying to optimize grape juice to mix it with stevia, but we have not found a good solution, and many firms claim to use flavour maskers to hide the stevia aftertaste. You cannot the taste at the moment.”
He adds: “Grape juices prices are rising on a daily basis. You need to decide whether you want a cheap product or a high quality natural sweetener such as grape juice – the cost of the latter could be too high.
“Six months ago we were buying grape juice for €1.80 per liter. Now it’s around €3. That’s a huge problem in the beverage industry."
4. ROOIBOS ICED TEA & MILK
AP: “This is quite unique to us, and is adapted to the UK consumer, western and central European markets. The key sales points here is an innovative approach to a well-known and popular drink.
“Iced tea is a real growth category. We came up with this idea in the lab, and we loved the taste. We did not really analyse the concept in advance, but thought it would interest western European consumers, who understand the iced tea concept.”
5. BEAUTY JUICES
AP: “We see huge potential in functional juices. Lutein is beauty industry ingredient that women use in face cream to refresh and hydrate the skin.
“So we decided to use lutein for juices – but the taste of it very bad, so we had to cover that bad taste with mango juice, which can cover many bad tastes.
“We think that beauty nutrition products can be sold close to pharmaceutical drinks as well as premium fruit juices, but with added value.
“We are launching these beauty juices in Greece, working with a client and one of the larger distributors. Our market analysis shows potential for such in Greece, Italy and France.
“But in Greece it’s a quite expensive product, €15-25 euros per bottle, for 500ml to 1 liter.“
6. SEA BUCKTHORN
AP: “We have developed sea buckthorn shots with guarana, high levels of vitamin C, folic acid and vitamin E for pregnant women, in a brief for a Swedish client.
“It comprises water with sea buckthorn (20-30%) an added vitamin complex, guarana as an energy enhancer. It’s very simple, quite bitter, but the taste is pretty good.
“We do not see potential in UK and France and middle Europe, where sea buckthorn is not well known, but we see huge demand in Scandinavia.
“Here consumers understand the additional value in this shot proposition. It’s an extremely healthy product with an attractive taste and benefits, which can be easily marketed in different Scandinavian regions."
7. OMEGA 3 CONCEPTS
AP: “There is an accelerating trend towards products with functional benefits for an ageing population – functional drinks and juices that solve certain problems: bone strength, joint health, increased metabolism, eye health, cholesterol, etc.
“As a whole, this product category divides down into many niches, some of which I outline above
“There is huge potential in this, and we are analyzing the situation, but maybe the trend is a little too young. Maybe it will start in 3-5 years, it’s hard to tell, but it’s one for the long-term.
“That said, companies that think in the long-term should really consider adding such products to their portfolio or pipeline now."