- RayZyn is turning wine grapes into raisins and emphasizing their nutritional content as their differentiator from classic Thompson seedless grapes, reported Bakery and Snacks. The company is marketing the product as a “superfood” snack.
- According to the company, these wine-raisins contain 20% of the recommended daily amount of fiber, 58 milligrams of calcium, and 10 times more antioxidants than raw black grapes.
- The raisins are made from Merlot, Cabernet and Chardonnay grapes and come chocolate-covered or plain varieties.
RayZyn joins other manufacturers, including Welch's, to try push grapes into the superfood category. But with its high levels of sugar — one of the highest of all the fruits — consumers may be wary of the claim. Wine grapes, in particular, are specifically bred to have high concentrations of sugar, up to twice that of a table grape.
What RayZyn, however, is focusing on is the heavy dose of antioxidants and vitamins, especially vitamin C, that come with its wine grapes. The father/son team may benefit from the marketing of powerhouse Welch's, which is focused on the “health-promoting plant nutrients” inherent to grapes called polyphenols. Studies have shown it to play a supporting role in staving off the development of chronic diseases. The health benefits has has the company referring to the Concord grapes as "the original superfood." These molecules, however, are not a primary nutrient and are activated in combination with others and are only required in small amounts.
Consumers though are interested in introducing functional foods into their diets. According to a white paper from ingredients company Kerry, 65% of consumers seek functional benefits from their food and drink. To emphasize the preservation of the grapes’ functional qualities, RayZyn’s focuses on its drying process, which begins on the vine and finishes in a lab where the skin, seeds and stem are dehydrated to concentrate the quantity of antioxidants in each raisin.
By highlighting the antioxidant content, companies like RayZyn are working to reframe a childhood snack favorite as a health food for adults, particularly millennials. Raisins have long been associated with school lunches and as kids grow up, that association remains. Data from the National Consumer Panel (NCP) and reported by Business Insider shows that those who buy Sun-Maid raisins are baby boomers and seniors, the same group that was buying these raisins for their kids’ lunches.
To combat this association, Sun-Maid launched a new ad campaign to showcase the reformulations of its yogurt-covered raisins as a “permissible indulgence” for kids and parents due to its status as a whole fruit snack. The raisin brand is also relaunching its sour raisin snacks and in January 2020, Sun-Maid will introduce new packaging and indulgent flavors.
The brand, however, may have a better chance of reaching more millennials by focusing on its use of wine grapes and emphasis on functional nutrients, rather than branding itself as an indulgence that appeals to nostalgic memories like Welch’s and Sun-Maid.