SPECIAL EDITION: JOY IN JUICE AND SMOOTHIES

Westerners show 'willingness' to pay more for 'healthier and natural' juice: Euromonitor

By Mark ASTLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Westerners show 'willingness' to pay more for 'healthier and natural' juice: Euromonitor

Related tags: Nutrition, Juice

Despite a fall in juice volumes in Europe and US in recent years, Western consumers have shown a "willingness" to pay more for juice products perceived to be healthier and more natural, says Euromonitor.

Speaking with BeverageDaily.com, Howard Telford, senior analyst, Euromonitor, said there is "much more focus on the premium and super-premium tier"​ in Europe and the US, where retail sales volumes have fallen.

US retail juice sale volumes fell from around 9.84bn litres in 2009 to 8.85bn litres in 2014, according to Euromonitor.

During the same period, sales in Germany fell around 15% to just short of 2.6bn litres and 10% to 1.964bn litres in the UK.

These shifts can be attributed, in part, to higher prices for 100% juice and "heightened consumer sensitivity"​ to sugar and nutritional content, said Telford. 

"Volumes for juice are certainly down in the US and Western Europe, but we've seen pockets of value sales growth,"​ said Telford.

"HPP processing, superfruit ingredients and single-serve packaging have over performed as consumers demonstrate a willingness to pay more for products perceived as healthier and natural,"​ he said.

Under (high) pressure

Nowadays, the "simple removal"​ of sugar doesn't cut it with Western consumers, Telford continued.

"Sugar reduction is part of the problem,"​ said Telford. "But the simple removal of sugar and addition of alternative sweeteners has not been as successful as natural processing techniques and high value superfruit ingredients as a category value drive."

Smoothie manufacturers may also be forced to make changes to compete, he said.

"Generally in developed markets, I do think the smoothie category may feel more pressure from raw/HPP juices in the future."

"There may be less opportunity in indulgent fruit smoothies with sugar/calorie content and more focus on green smoothie blends that include vegetables to maintain wellness positioning,"​ said Telford.

Low-cost China

The same cannot be said for Chinese consumers, said Telford.

According to Euromonitor, Chinese retail juice volumes stood at 14.03bn litres in 2014.

Up from 10.45bn litres in 2009, Chinese juice volumes accounted for nearly a quarter of the global total.

Unlike their European and American counterparts, Chinese consumers are less concerned with innovation and more with cost.

"The Chinese market for juice is dominated by relatively low-cost, low-fruit concentrate juice drinks,"​ said Telford. 

"These are consumed by a large body of consumers, particularly young people, and compete directly with carbonates and other types of mass market soft drinks."

Related topics: Markets

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