- The juice industry has reeled in recent years due to the drink's sugar content, but manufacturers have sought innovations in flavor and functionality to turn the category around.
- Sales continue to fall for many juice categories, particularly ambient apple juice and refrigerated orange juice. Consumers are turning to other beverages, such as bottled water and RTD tea and coffee, or other types of juice, such as freshly squeezed and smoothie varieties.
- Exotic flavor blends, particularly those featuring functional ingredients like superfruits, and cold-pressed juice processing have helped manufacturers drive sales in the segment.
Manufacturers have juice bars and smoothie chains to thank in part for motivating consumers to reconsider juice as a viable beverage option. The juicing trend among health-conscious consumers, particularly among millennials, has also bolstered the perception of juiced fruits and vegetables. This leaves manufacturers to determine the best processing methods and flavor combinations to regenerate interest in juices sold in grocery, health food, dollar and convenience stores.
Juicing as a consumer health trend has also provided manufacturers with the opportunity to offer the same health benefits of juicing fruits and vegetables at home, while bringing convenience and portability to the final product. Consumers want to eat more fruits and vegetables, but for many, liquid meal replacements like smoothies or functional juices are more convenient ways to consume those nutrients.
Cold-pressed juicing has also played a key role in juice’s revival. The process enables manufacturers to extend shelf life without the need for additives to maintain the simple, natural ingredients lists consumers demand today.
Flavor combinations still remain critical components of juice’s rebound. Manufacturers have embraced a wide range of fruit and vegetable combinations in addition to trending ingredients like coconut and aloe and spices likes turmeric. The millennial generation and growing Hispanic and Asian populations in the U.S. have contributed to the prevalence of new and ethnic beverage flavors in recent years.
Major beverage manufacturers have also come to appreciate and capitalize on the juice trend, such as Coca-Cola acquiring a minority stake in Suja last year, which joined the Odwalla juice brand Coca-Cola already owned. PepsiCo has made strides with its Naked juice brand, including the debut of its cold-pressed Naked Pressed line earlier this year.