- Del Monte is releasing a combination of its classic fruit cups with boba and calling it Bubble Fruit.
- Bubble Fruit is now available at retailers nationwide. The new snack packs will come in three flavors: Peach Strawberry Lemonade, Sour Apple Watermelon and Pear Berry Pomegranate.
- Bubble Fruit will not contain any artificial colors or artificial sweeteners.
After 133 years in the canned fruit and vegetable segment, consumer demand and shifts in the industry are finally beginning to blow Del Monte in another direction. The company's CEO recently told Food Dive it missed out on unlocking the potential for all of its brands because of its focus on canned fruit and vegetables.
As a result, Del Monte recently set an aggressive agenda to innovate its product lines and roll out new versions of old staples. The company started by expanding its offering in the frozen and refrigerated aisles with Veggiful pizza bites and refrigerated Fruit Crunch Parfaits.
Now, the company is beginning to reimagine its center aisle offerings with this latest launch. These new boba fruit cups take advantage of several growing trends in the industry today. The product can be eaten on-the-go, which could be a hit with consumers who are increasingly looking for more portable snacks. Also as free-from products continue to become more popular, Bubble Fruit comes with no artificial colors or sweeteners, are non-GMO and served in non-BPA cups.
Those attributes could be especially important for parents who are looking for snack options for their children, which the company say it's targeting in the press release. Del Monte is releasing these new Bubble Fruit cups in tandem with the back-to-school season, marketing the individual portions as perfect for lunches and snacks as families gear up for the rush of school, activities and jam-packed schedules.
As Del Monte moves away from the can, the addition of boba could be a step in the right direction. As consumers shun the middle of the store in favor of fresher options, the novelty of boba could bring them back. The bubble tea market is touting an estimated 7% CAGR from 2017-2023, according to Technavio. Part of this growth can be attributed to the versatility of the bubbles, which have migrated from the Taiwanese bubble tea of the 1980s to bubble tea frozen yogurt, cocktails and popping boba.
Del Monte is the first to pair the popular popping trend with fruit cups, which could make consumers curious to try it. Although these fruit cups are marketed to children, boba is also a hit with adults and the more sophisticated flavors could convince adults to buy them too. It could also be a more accessible way for consumers to enjoy boba without having to seek out a specialty café that serves drinks, ice cream or cocktails with the tapioca pearls.