From juice crawls to cocktail mixers: Could millennials become generation juice?
Its hand-crafted, artisanal nature goes hand in hand with Millennial's love of small batches, small companies and good causes, adds Fona.
But for Millennials, juice goes far beyond breakfast. It can serve as an exotic cocktail mixer, fit neatly into Millennials’ ‘clockless eating’ habits, or even form the basis of social occasions like ‘Juice Crawls’.
Meanwhile, flavors such as cucumber, spinach, turmeric and watermelon are gaining traction in juices, reports the flavor company in its 2016 Trend Insight Report.
Juice has long been considered a breakfast item, but Millennials’ eating habits mean consumption occasions are much wider, says Fona.
“Consider expanding juice beyond breakfast to grow the category,” says Fona. “Millennials’ ‘clockless’ eating schedule gives juice an edge, especially if it’s fresh, premium and has phenomenal taste.”
Social media is important for reaching Millennials, but this group of consumers also loves socializing in person, observes Fona.
“Use social media to create buzz to expand usage occasions. Creating campaigns around a cause and highlighting unique flavors will reach social media savvy Millennials.
“And sharing the availability of juice at food or beverage festivals, especially as cocktail mixers, will satisfy Millennials’ need for socialization.”
Meanwhile, the launch of Juice Crawls – a New York ‘pub crawl for juice’ which aims to bring the social and fun bar vibe to drinking juice – is building on Millennials love for socializing too.
What is a juice crawl?
“Think pub crawl for juice. We travel to juice bars, drink a lot of green juice and workout. We bring the social & fun bar vibe to drinking juice,” say the organizers behind the New York initiative.
“Juice Crawl builds a community of people who want to have fun in a healthy atmosphere. It is a great way to meet health conscious individuals and become aware of different health and wellness companies.”
Consumers also like artisan features on juice products, an attribute particularly important to Millennials.
“Millennials love knowing the origin of the ingredients in the products they consume. Bar codes, batch identifiers or any way to show the source of ingredients in a juice would appeal to health and clean label conscious Millennials.”
Orange continues to dominate the flavor rankings, according to figures on the introductions of US juice and juice drinks influenced by the cold-pressed juice trend. Apple, lemon and mango are the next most popular flavors.
But more modern and unusual flavors are gaining plenty of traction: cucumber, spinach, beetroot, celery, turmeric and watermelon, for example.
Millennials are usually sensitive to prices, but are willing to pay more for quality if they perceive a product to be healthier. According to Mintel figures, 25% of men and 20% of women in the US aged between 18-24 find that claims regarding organic and free-from are influential when they buy juice.
Many Millennials are bored with standard fruit and juice flavors, opening up opportunities for brands and manufacturers with unique flavor blends and customizable offerings.
“Millennials like things the way they like them, and juicing’s ingredient versatility fits those needs beautifully,” says the report.
When it comes to purchasing, 53% of Millennials stop at a convenience store either daily or weekly. And 33% of older Millennials (aged 25-34) purchase freshly-squeezed juice from the deli or produce section of a store. But there is also a significant proportion (27%) of US juice consumers who like to make their own fresh squeezed juice at home.
Fona also reports that sweet is not always best when it comes to juice.
“Health conscious Millennials grew up on intense, bold flavors and as they age, they prefer similar strong flavors in their juice products, while sugar has become the ingredient to watch. Sour, tart flavors appeal to 46% of Millennial consumers and if mixed with a little naturally sweet fruit, that’s ok too.”
The full report is available here.