Healthy drinks – give it some juice17 December 2014
As health continues to underline consumer purchasing habits and they move away from sugar-heavy drinks, trade in juices and nectars is seeing steady growth. Beverage Packaging Innovation speaks to JuiceBurst’s Jon Evans about the fruits of this labour.
JuiceBurst is owned by Purity Soft Drinks, which has a long history dating back as far as 1892, and a commitment to producing juices and juice drinks of the very highest quality. The drinks can be transported and stored ambiently; no cold chain is required and the product has a seven-month shelf life, giving customers flexibility and ensuring the product is rarely out of stock.
The company's new JuiceBurst Skinny range has three flavours - peach and passion fruit, cherry and apple, and mango and lime - all of which count as one of your five a day. As well as their low calorie content, the drinks also contain 45% less added sugar than the core range, using Stevia as a natural alternative.
Beverage Packaging Innovation: How has the current focus on health helped your business?
Jon Evans: When it comes to health, the juice industry has a number of benefits. We are one of people's five a day, delivered in an easy, convenient package. With the launch of JuiceBurst Skinny, we are able to provide healthy fruit, without added sugars.
How important is convenience in your current plans?
With regards to convenience, we want to make our products fit into our customers' lifestyle. Juice is typically drunk with breakfast, with a smaller number drinking juice at lunchtime and maybe as late as 3pm. With JuiceBurst, the main purchase is for use between 8am and 2pm.
What are the advantages of being a small fish in a big pond?
As a smaller company, we are able to innovate quickly without being stuck in a path of dependence, as some of the larger companies find. An example of this can be found with the regulations for juice drinks in schools. In June, it was announced that all juices in schools would have to be natural, with reduced sugar levels, packaged in 150ml or 330ml containers (150ml if just juice; 330ml if combined with water). We were able to quickly develop products that addressed this regulation, putting us in a position to launch within 12 weeks.
How have you managed to omit the need for a cold chain?
In foodservice, juice is typically bought in 500ml bottles that are premium, returnable and easy to recycle. In convenience shops and food to go locations, such as Greggs, WHSmith and Superdrug, breakfast juices like Tropicana normally require a chilled supply chain to keep them cold. Convenience stores do not have the space for large refrigeration units, so tend not to hold stock due to its inconvenience. JuiceBurst can be stored at ambient temperatures, without a chilled supply chain, so they can be taken from the store to the shelf then drunk straight away by the customer.
Do juice drinks have wide appeal?
While there has been a lot of focus on the bottled water or carbonated soft drinks markets, we still see the juice market having a lot of opportunity for growth. We have the ability to sell in schools, in foodservice and direct to consumers. One of the reasons for this growth is that JuiceBurst is a premium product without a high price tag. If they can get one of their five a day for the same price as a carbonated soft drink, we are giving consumers the chance to monitor the health benefits of their drinking habits more closely. There will always be a price consideration, so we need to keep the drinks affordable.
How do you keep your products environmentally friendly?
With regards to sustainability, we continue to lightweight the bottles we use for our drinks. We blow them on site, which means we are able to create and fill the bottles in one location without incurring transportation costs. By removing the cold chain needed to chill the drinks, we are also reducing energy consumption and usage through the supply chain, which is done without impacting the taste of the product.