GLOBAL: Fruit juice sales recovery expected - research
Total fruit/vegetable juice volume sales are predicted to grow by 2014
Global fruit juice sales are expected to recover in 2010, despite the downward trend of 2009 results, with Mexico, India, and China among the top countries poised for growth.
Global volume sales managed a 3% increase to 64bn litres in 2009, but this was the slowest growth rate in more than ten years, according to figures released this week by Euromonitor. North America and Western Europe have seen several straight years of declines, and were joined, in 2009, by an 8% drop in volume sales in Eastern Europe.
However, the research analysts believe that, despite the downward trend, fruit juice is expected to recover in 2010 as most countries emerge from recession. Total fruit/vegetable juice volume sales are predicted to grow a further 30% from 2009 to 2014, to reach 83bn litres.
“Even as manufacturers continue to launch premium fortified juices or those offering antioxidant benefits around the world, juice drinks are actually the greatest forecasted area of volume growth, expected to add a further 12bn litres through 2014,” Brian Morgan, beverages analyst at Euromonitor International said. “Mexico, India, and China are among the top global markets for juice growth.”
In Mexico, concerns about obesity have seen juice manufacturers focus on healthier juices, while brands in India, such as Coca-Cola India's Minute Maid, have emphasised their high fruit content to capitalise on consumers' growing demand for natural alternatives to carbonates.
In China, Tropicana was launched to offer a line of juice drinks in a country where orange juice concentrates are imported at great cost.
However, Morgan believes the predicted improvement will not benefit all juice types equally
“One of the keys for manufacturers looking to take advantage of future opportunities in juice will be to understand what appeals to consumers in different parts of the world,” he said. “A look at 2009 volume sales reveals striking differences in regional preferences. Consumers in Western Europe and North America tend to choose 100% juice, showing a willingness to pay a premium for its strong health benefits
“The Asia Pacific region is the largest overall juice market, but here consumers overwhelmingly prefer juice drinks. In Eastern Europe nectars just edge out 100% juice as the most commonly purchased juice type. Fruit-flavoured drinks with no juice content are the smallest component of juice sales all over the world – except in Latin America, where they are the leading category,” Morgan added.
Looking forward, Morgan believes the key to success for manufacturers will be look beyond premium offerings.
“Whether it is through targeted flavour profiles but wider global potential from nectars, or through the promotion of lower priced juice drinks in key markets throughout Asia and Latin America, the key to continued success for juice manufacturers will likely not rest entirely upon their most recent strategy of offering more premium functional juices and relying upon consumers to pay for added value,” Morgan said.
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