Manufacturers take purist approach as European demand for variety-specific juice increases

By Mary Ellen Shoup contact

- Last updated on GMT

European juice manufacturers look to variety-specific juice drinks. ©iStock/ruivalesousa
European juice manufacturers look to variety-specific juice drinks. ©iStock/ruivalesousa
Similar to wine varietals, consumers are selecting premium juice based on the type of fruit used, particularly in apple juice, leading juice manufacturers to come out with variety-specific products. 

According to Mintel, consumers are placing increased value on juice made from traditional apple varieties because of the perception that they are buying high-quality products with a transparent and traceable source. 

Consumers look for ‘variety-specific’ juice

A Mintel survey found that in Germany over 25% of respondents over the age of 16 said they purchased juice made from specific fruit varieties. Similarly, 23% of those surveyed in France and Spain are interested in variety in variety-specific juice.

In Europe, where the juice market is particularly saturated, manufacturers such as Amecke GmbH & Co. KG and the Maspex Group are differentiating themselves by making unmixed juices from a single variety of apples.

Amecke, which makes a traditional range of blended apple juice, has also been pushing its unmixed varieties in its “My Favorite Apple”​ line, which includes a Golden Delicious and Cripps Pinks apple juices.

“The apple juices you find on supermarket shelves today are generally blends of juices from different apple varieties. The ratio of ingredients depends on availability. However, we believe unmixed premium juices have potential,”​ Ariana Amecke-Moennighof, product manager at Amecke, said.

Nostalgia for older fruit varieties gain momentum

The Maspex Group in Poland has now added juices from older varieties of apples with regional provenance to its Tymbark brand range.

“For our new variety-specific, not-from-concentrate juices, we only use apple varieties that are popular with Polish consumers right now. Antonowka is an old Russian apple variety – sweet and sour in flavor. The Champion is full of flavour, and is characterized by a very low acid content. In comparison, the Jonagold has quite a subtle, delicately fruity taste,”​ Dorota Liszka, corporate communications manager at Maspex Group, said.

Cost-effective production

Amecke and the Maspex Group, which have worked with SIG Combibloc in the past, said they were able to continue their production operations with the filling and packaging company because of its flexible machinery options. Amecke which has been packaging its conventional apple juice products in 33.8-ounce (1-liter) carton packs, chose a 25.3-ounce (750-ml) carton pack for its newer variety-specific apple juice. 

“Both these volumes can be filled on one and the same SIG Combibloc filling machine, which makes us very flexible in production,”​ Amecke-Moennighof said. 

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