• 09 Nov
    Functional juice trends

    Functional juice trends

     

    Attributes for a Healthy Life

    Sudipta Bhattacharjee, Research Analyst with Zenith Global, defines functional juices as those providing a health benefit beyond their basic nutrition content, incorporating physiologically active added components.

    The functional juice market has been growing steadily year on year, with the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating further growth. The pandemic has changed consumers’ attitudes towards health and immunity, as well as focusing on the health benefits of ingredients in products they are consuming. Although the aspect of ‘functional’ juices might have been a trend in previous years, experts expect that this will continue well into the future. The concept of a healthy life with a key focus on immunity has been brought to the forefront throughout the pandemic.

    Target market

    Young people and parents are often the target market for many functional juice companies. Amongst younger consumers, functional juice provides innovative flavours making a great addition to a busy lifestyle. However, in future years, strong marketing and sales campaigns are needed to appeal to all demographics so that a wider consumer base can reap the benefits of functional juice and lead healthier lifestyles.

    Research indicates over 75% of adults consume vitamins and minerals in supplement form. However, functional juice provides consumers with an easier way to consume their daily vitamins and mineral intake. Additionally, functional juice is suited for on-the-go consumption, particularly amongst young professionals. During 2020, on the go consumption considerably reduced as consumers took up working or studying from home. As there has been a greater onus on a hybrid work lifestyle in 2021, on the go consumption is expected to steadily rise post-pandemic, benefiting the functional juice segment.

    Innovation

    Functional juice shots have been increasing in popularity for on-the-go consumers. In the past, these typically 50ml to 100ml sized shots would be sold in specialist cafes and juice bars. However, there has been an expansion of functional juice shots into the retail sector. This has been driven even further by the pandemic as the majority of restaurants and cafes were closed. Alongside retail growth, higher demand has risen for online delivery services such as those offered by US-based company Uncle Matt’s Organic who produce functional juice shots containing live probiotics and vitamins C, D, and zinc. Supermarkets such as Wholefoods in the US and Sainsburys in the UK have also been widening its offerings of functional juice shots in stores, highlighting retail expansion into this growing category.

    Trends

    Other trends in this market include no additives and no added sugar in functional juices but consumers are now requiring more from juices. This includes juices with enhanced functionalities such as vitamins C, D, and zinc which has all been proven to strengthen immune systems, as well as reducing symptoms of fatigue. Pairing this alongside natural immunity-boosting ingredients such as ginger also coordinates well with a healthy lifestyle. In Western countries, there is a trend of incorporating ingredients traditionally found in Eastern countries such as ginger, turmeric, and ginseng in functional juices. For example, Suja Juice in the US, offer immunity juice shots all containing probiotics and ranging from turmeric, reishi mushroom and ginger flavours. In the UK, Plenish offers a lemon and ginger variant containing vitamins A and C for a healthier immune system.

    Countries within the Asia-Pacific region such as Japan and Australia continue to lead the way for immunity boosting functional juices. Asian giant POKKA offer juice made with vegetables such as its carrot juice enriched with antioxidants as well as vitamins C and E available in the Singaporean market. Australia’s Bae Juice created a hangover juice containing Korean pear which helps to absorb alcohol, reducing symptoms such as headaches and sore throats.

    Experimenting with both vitamins, minerals and natural immunity boosting ingredients in functional juice not only improves physical health but also has a positive impact on mental health. Research suggests regular amounts of magnesium, zinc and iron in consumers’ diets has been shown to improve cognitive function and reduce symptoms of stress. Functional juices allow for a broader healthier lifestyle encompassing both mental and physical wellness. For example, market leader PepsiCo’s Tropicana updated its functional juice range in late 2020. Available in the UK, the Tropicana + range contains added vitamins C, B6 and magnesium and are more clearly labelled to make it easier for consumers to understand the benefits of each drink in the range.

    Benefits

    Whilst incorporating several different ingredients certainly has increased benefits, functional juice does not require a multitude of ingredients for it to be beneficial. New Zealand based brand ’73 Citrus proves this as the company launched a sparkling orange juice with liposomal vitamin C in 2021 which helps to increase absorption and increase immunity.

    Functional juice has solidified its position in the market, as a core component in consumers’ day to day lives and has proven to be a popular option within the soft beverages’ category. Functional juice is a key attribute for a healthy lifestyle and an integral aspect of a stronger body and mind.

     

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 09 Nov
    Botanicals – bringing an authentic taste to beverages

    Botanicals – bringing an authentic taste to beverages

    Consumer interest in botanicals is growing and can help your brand stand out on the shelves, writes Michel Aubanel from Kerry.

    Consumers who want clean label and sustainable ingredients are attracted to products that contain botanicals. This is especially true in beverages, where botanical flavours add a refreshing and natural ‘pop’ to taste. The use of botanical ingredients such as sage leaf and rose bud is also growing in categories including bakery, dairy and confectionery.

    BOX: The interest in using botanical ingredients in food and beverages is on the rise worldwide, with regions including Asia Pacific, North America and Europe leading the way. The global botanical extracts market—which includes all uses for botanicals—is projected to reach USD 7.59b by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 8.7% between 2017 to 2025, according to Market Watch. The market for foods and beverages that contain botanicals is projected to be valued at USD 1,489.3b by 2025, growing at a CAGR of around 3.2% between 2019 and 2025, according to Zion Research.

    In food and beverages, consumers tend to consider botanicals ‘premium’ ingredients. Local palates and availability dictate which botanicals are most popular. In this article, I explain why the use of botanical ingredients in food and beverages is growing, focusing on botanical taste, ease of use and perceived health benefits.

    What are botanical ingredients?
    When you transform raw material such as basil leaves, chamomile flower or cardamom seeds from their native format to a liquid format, you create a botanical extract. In food and beverage, botanical ingredients have a concentrated taste and a longer shelf life than fresh ingredients, which makes them especially appropriate for use in such products.

    What are the advantages of working with botanical extracts in food?
    Botanical extracts bring an authentic taste because they are derived directly from plants, usually from the leaves, flowers or fruits. Some botanical extracts are obtained from frozen raw materials while others from dried; the state of the source material can change the flavour intensity. Typically, frozen materials produce a more authentic and distinctive taste than dried ones.

    In addition to the previously mentioned botanical ingredients, other well-known or popular botanicals include mint, ginger, hibiscus, rhubarb, and various roots. Kerry’s taste portfolio includes individual botanical extracts as well as botanical blends, such as those made from elderflower, rose bud, chamomile, white tea, ginger, cinnamon, clove and cumin. Some customers even approach to us with a creative brief that includes specifications such as “provide a botanical extract that delivers the sensation of the seashore, from the salty water to the native plants.” The resulting formulations can provide enhanced taste complexity to products ranging from waters to spirits to wafers.

    Are botanicals sustainable?
    Because botanicals are natural, brands that include them in food and beverage products may choose to highlight their sustainability stories. For example, our botanical extracts such as vanilla and citrus have transparent sourcing and supply chain; some of our partners choose to make this information available to consumers through on-pack callouts and social media messaging. Some botanicals also feature recognizable certifications such as organic or Rainforest alliance certified, which brands may also showcase in their products. Some are sourced through local cooperatives in various regions, allowing farmers to remain based in their locality and avoid delocalisation to cities.
    Why do consumers buy beverages and food products containing botanicals?
    While botanicals add an authentic taste to products, many also come with perceived health benefits.

    For centuries, plant botanicals have often been associated with traditional medicine, aromatherapy and herbal infusions. Extracts such as ginseng have associations with energy, immune health and stress management.

    Kerry’s European study on botanicals revealed that while 95% of European consumers have heard of botanicals and 83% believe botanicals offer health benefits, only 11% believe they truly understand all the benefits of botanical ingredients. This makes clear that there is a need for education around botanicals, including how they might benefit a person’s health.

    Botanicals requires careful wording and regulatory review to ensure phrasing is allowed and appropriate. We’ve seen some effective campaigns that speak to the customary uses of botanicals by native people. This can convey tradition without being subject to scientific scrutiny.

    Botanicals and emotions

    New consumer research from Kerry also revealed that botanical extracts generate several moods and emotions with consumers including energy, excitement, peacefulness and fun.  The research, which uncovers the psychology behind botanical preferences and the perceived benefits consumers derive from consuming botanical food and beverages, examined 44 emotions that consumers associate with botanical extracts. Kerry surveyed over 6,500 consumers across 12 countries in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa to discover attitudes towards over 55 botanicals flavours and ingredients.

    The research shows that botanical flavours connect with consumers on a highly positive level, beyond flavour and taste. Consumers also think about botanicals as being energetic, interesting, useful, trustworthy and safe. For example, a beverage with guarana, ginseng and ginger can carry a similar connotation of ‘energy’ as a coffee or energy drink would to the consumer. Meanwhile, ingredients such as saffron, bergamot and honey are considered premium.

    Innovation

    In a very highly competitive marketplace, brands are constantly attempting to stand out and interestingly 87% of consumers say that botanicals provide a unique taste experience. Meanwhile, according to Innova research, the use of botanicals on front of pack will result in a 23% price premium. Formulating with botanicals can certainly win consumer hearts, especially by using top appealing flavours such as mint, honey and cinnamon. Manufacturers should emphasize the link between botanical flavour, their corresponding emotions and perceived health benefits they evoke to create flavours that meet consumers’ daypart and occasion needs. These insights can be leveraged to connect with consumers to deliver a stronger taste experience in food and beverages and support product development.

    A longer version of this article was previously published on the KerryDigest. Visit www.kerry.com/insights/kerrydigest for more insights from industry leaders.

     

     

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 09 Nov
    Europe – First fruit juice nutraceutical

    Europe – First fruit juice nutraceutical

    Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, leverages its deep scientific knowledge of the cacaofruit and the fruit’s supportive health effect, by presenting the first nutraceutical fruit drink. The new cacaofruit elixir – made from 100% pure cacaofruit – has a zesty fruity taste. By unlocking the power of science, the elixir is uniquely crafted to preserve the nutrients of the cacaofruit.

    The cacaofruit naturally contains the required amount of flavanols to optimize the blood flow across the entire body. It is a good source of iron, magnesium and potassium. Besides the 100% pure cacaofruit elixir, combinations with herbs and other fruits can be explored to enrich the range with beautiful taste combinations and additional nutrients. The nutraceutical fruit drink contributes to personal as well environmental health. Since it upcycles the whole cacaofruit, ‘Elix’ positively impacts nature and communities, said a spokesperson.

    “The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated consumers’ interest in their own health as well as in the health of their environment. The introduction of this new category of nutraceutical fruit drinks is another proof point of how Barry Callebaut, through its innovation capabilities and its profound knowledge of the cacaofruit, is able to cater to evolving consumer trends.” Commented Peter Boone, CEO of Barry Callebaut Group.

    Composed of almost 20,000 different types of molecules, the seed of the cacaofruit is one of the most complex food substances on earth. The R&D behind the cacaofruit elixir ‘Elix’ took Barry Callebaut more than 15 years. In addition, there is data available from more than 100 human clinical studies which provide sound scientific proof of the health effects of the cacaofruit flavanols.

    Barry-Callebaut

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 09 Nov
    UK – £27M investment in beverage canning line from Britvic

    UK – £27M investment in beverage canning line from Britvic

    As part of its commitment to the continuous improvement of its supply chain, Britvic has announced a £26.9 million investment into the future of its factory in Rugby, UK, Britvic’s largest production site. The investment will see the installation of a fourth canning line, growing the site’s total capacity by a further 18%. As a result, Britvic expects to create at least 20 new jobs at the facility.

    The efficient new set-up will produce recyclable 330ml cans for Britvic’s portfolio of leading brands including Tango, Pepsi and 7UP. The first cans are expected to be produced this November, with the new line fully up and running in 2022.

    The new jobs will be predominantly in engineering and manufacturing, helping to build upon Britvic’s role as a leading employer within the community. Apprentices will also play a vital role during the expansion, filling some of the engineering roles and assisting with improvement projects as production commences.

    The news is further evidence of Britvic’s continued investment in its supply chain and follows the completion of the transformative £250m Business Capability Programme, improving facilities for the benefit of colleagues and customers. Britvic

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 09 Nov
    US – New bacteria ID will help apple juice producers avoid spoilage

    US – New bacteria ID will help apple juice producers avoid spoilage

    Apple juice lovers won’t be left with a bad taste, thanks to a new study that identifies three new bacteria species, one of which fouls up the flavour.

    The three new species – Alicyclobacillus mali, A. fructus, and A. suci – all belong to the genus Alicyclobacillus, but A. suci was found to produce a compound called guaiacol, which is known in other Alicyclobacillus species to create a medicinal, smoky or rubber-like flavor in shelf-stable apple juice. While Alicyclobacillus bacteria can affect juice quality and lead to spoilage, they are not a food safety concern.

    “Better understanding the structure of the Alicyclobacillus genus and the spoilage potential of individual species drives improvement in quality management decisions that reduce waste and improve customer satisfaction,” said Abigail Snyder, assistant professor of microbial food safety in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and senior author of a paper published last september in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. Katerina Roth, a graduate student in Snyder’s lab, is the paper’s first author.

    The findings will allow manufacturers to identify whether their juices contain A. suci, which leads to spoilage. It will also help them fine-tune their Alicyclobacillus control strategies and will support the development of tools and diagnostic technologies for the industry, Snyder said.

    Apple juice is acidic and is often heated during pasteurization, conditions that inhibit most bacteria. Unfortunately, Alicyclobacillus bacteria are extremophiles whose spores are capable of surviving extreme heat and high acidity. The bacteria originate from orchards and soils and can contaminate apples used for making juice. After juice has been processed and bottled for such products as apple juice, concentrates, teas, sports beverages and coconut water, spores can germinate, grow and produce guaiacol, causing spoilage. Also, the effects are not visible; the drinks appear fine.

    Once spoiled, producers may be forced to throw products away, and if sold, unhappy consumers can lower a brand’s reputation, Snyder said. A 2017 survey of juice manufacturers by Snyder and Randy Worobo, professor of food science and a co-author on the current paper, revealed that more than 97% of participants indicated that spoilage mattered ‘a lot’ or ‘a great deal’ in brand protection and close to 90% indicated that better control over microbial spoilage would have moderately to greatly increased profits and reduced waste.

    The researchers used genomic, biochemical and phenotypic analyses to identify the three new Alicyclobacillus species. The study benefitted from decades of extension work analyzing samples from the beverage industry in New York, the country’s second largest apple producing state, and beyond.  CornellChronical

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 09 Nov
    Europe – GEA builds world’s first carbon-neutral juice production facility for innocent

    Europe – GEA builds world’s first carbon-neutral juice production facility for innocent

    GEA Group AG, as key project partner, has provided innocent, Europe’s leading smoothie and juice brand, with the process technology for the world’s first carbon-neutral juice factory. The new factory in the Netherlands will lead the way for future plants in the food industry with a truly sustainable approach. Located at the Rotterdam Food Hub, the production facility is scheduled to open officially in spring 2022.

    In the new-build project, GEA is responsible for the process, refrigeration and heating technology. Early involvement in the design planning phase enabled the company to develop numerous innovative process changes that significantly help innocent on the path to reaching its climate goals.
    Taking a 360-degree view of the process chain will allow innocent to substantially cut its carbon footprint while massively influencing other parameters such as water consumption and waste generation. MarketScreener

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 15 Sep
    CROP ROUND UP Sept 2021

    CROP ROUND UP Sept 2021

     

    All eyes are on the drought in Brazil which has resulted in forecasts for the current orange crop being adjusted lower. This could lead to stock levels of orange juice being drawn down to critical levels by the start of next season in June 2022.

    BRAZILIAN 2021/22 ORANGE PRODUCTION <DOWN>

    A new forecast from Fundecitrus for orange production in 2021/22 orange crop for the São Paulo and West-Southwest Minas Gerais citrus belt is 267.87 million boxes (40.8kg each), a marked difference from the initial forecast 294.17 million boxes estimated in May this year. The reduction of 26.30 million boxes is due to very poor rainfall leading to the most severe water crisis to hit Brazil for the past 91 years. The combination of this drought and successive frosts in July culminated in a gradual crop decline. Oranges are excessively small and fruit droppage rates are very high.

    This season was meant to be a high production year, but the above factors mean production is likely to return to the same levels from season of 268.63 million boxes

    This forecast will be updated again on 10 December, but Fundecitrus does not expect any increases if the current conditions persist.

    As mentioned, the drought was acerbated by frosts that particularly affected plots located in lower regions and regions located in the south, southwest and central sectors. In isolated cases, the frosts caused some of the younger trees to die.

    The harvest pace remains slow due to late and sporadic flowering last year. The field survey data shows that harvest was 27% complete by mid-August, which historically should already be about 35% complete.

    Fundecitrus

     

    BRAZILIAN ORANGE JUICE STOCKS <DOWN>

    Global inventories of Brazilian orange juice (66 brix FCOJ equivalent) in the hands of CitrusBR members on 30 June 2021 were 316 929 tonnes. This represents a 33% reduction on the 471 138 tonnes at the same time last year.

     

    CitrusBR

     

    BRAZILIAN ORANGE JUICE EXPORTS <UP>

    Brazilian exports of orange juice (FCOJ equivalent) seem to be recovering from the decreases last season. In July 2021 Brazil exported 87 500 tonnes, 54% more than was shipped in the same period last year (Source: Secex). Revenue from these shipments increased by 66% totalling USD133.2 million.

    However, with limited production expected in Brazil, shipments are not forecast to increase much during the 2021/22 season.

    Cepea

     

    FLORIDA – ORANGE PRODUCTION <DOWN>

    An unofficial forecast on production from the forthcoming 2021/22 orange harvest in Florida has been released. Elizabeth Steger, president of Citrus Consulting International, has forecast Florida’s forthcoming crop at 52.0 million boxes, 1.5% lower than the 52.8 million boxes the state produced last season.

    Steger projected 20.8 million boxes of early-midseason oranges (22.7 million boxes last season) and 31.2 million boxes of Valencia’s (30.1 million boxes last season).

    She estimated early/mid-season oranges and Valencia’s will yield 1.09 and 1.03 boxes per tree, respectively.

    While Steger’s forecast is pegged 52 million boxes of oranges, the report says there are various scenarios in which the state’s orange crop could range from 49-56 million boxes.

    The first official forecast on the 2021/22 crop in Florida will released by the USDA in early October.

    Elizabeth Steger

     

    EUROPEAN UNION – PEACH AND NECTARINE PRODUCTION <DOWN>

    In 2021/22 European Union (EU) production of peaches and nectarines is forecast to 2.67 million tonnes a decline of 16.6% compared with the previous year. This drop is expected in most of the major EU producing countries due to unfavourable weather conditions during spring and a continuous decrease in area planted.

    USDA

     

    EUROPEAN UNION – CHERRY PRODUCTION <DOWN>

    Total EU cherry production in 2021/22 is projected to decline 5.3% to 664 800 tonnes due to a decline in the major producing countries. Unfavourable weather conditions with frost and heavy rainstorms during the spring season account for the drop in production.

    USDA

     

    CHILE – CHERRY PRODUCTION <UP>

    Cherry production in Chile in 2021/22 is projected to increase to 397 000 tonnes from 386 000 tonnes the year before. This is the result of an increase in planted area, as well as maturation of young orchards.

    USDA

     

    CHILE – PEACH AND NECTARINE PRODUCTION <DOWN>

    Fresh peach and nectarine production for 2021/22 in Chile is forecast at 158 000 tonnes, a 0.6% decrease over the previous year. A drop in productivity due to drought was offset by a relatively steady planted area.

    USDA

     

    TURKEY – CHERRY PRODUCTION <DOWN>

    The cherry production forecast in Turkey in 2021/22 is 860 000 tonnes, which is 54 000 tonnes less than during the 2020/21 season, due to frost damage that occurred in Izmir and Konya in the late spring.

    USDA

     

    TURKEY – PEACH AND NECTARINE PRODUCTION <DOWN>

    Peach and nectarine production in Turkey for 2021/22 is forecast at 830 000 tonnes, 60 000 tonnes lower than in 2020/21. The lower supply is attributed to frost damage in the late spring.

    USDA

     

    By Caroline Calder Trade Data
  • 11 Sep
    FCOJ – Outlook – Jack Scoville’s latest report

    FCOJ – Outlook – Jack Scoville’s latest report

    FCOJ Autumn report

    Price action in FCOJ has been generally positive with higher prices seen over the last couple of months.  It is mostly a weather related rally, with damage to fruit being seen in exporter countries around the world.   Conditions have generally been good in Florida for harvest and fruit development, but that is about the only place where generally good conditions are reported.  The market is on edge even with the good current conditions as the state is in the hurricane season and the season is approaching its peak.  Florida has been lucky so far.  It has avoided the storms that have moved into the Gulf.  People and agriculture farther west in the Louisiana area have not been nearly as fortunate as there has been widespread damage there.  But Florida has gotten by and has just been brushed by a minor system that brought a decent amount of rain, but no big winds and not really all that much heavy rain to citrus groves.  The season will soon reach its peak and then the chances for a deadly and damaging storm will be much less.

    Brazil has not been so lucky with the weather.  The country suffered from a freeze event that hurt many crops.  Coffee was damaged as were winter grains crops like the winter corn and winter wheat.  Citrus was also severely damaged and a lot of fruit loss is suspected.     The damage to the citrus crop is big news for international buyers.  Brazil is the largest exporter of FCOJ in the world so the big loss of oranges will hurt its international trade and will raise prices generally around the globe.  Europe will be very hard hit as Europe has imported a lot from Brazil over the last several years but might not be able to get as much juice and will be paying higher prices for the juice it does get as the year moves on.  Brazil has also been an exporter to the US so prices will be creeping higher there as well.

    Florida can supply wheat missing from imports from Brazil, but will also have to service the European demand so demand for FCOJ from Florida could be very high and prices might go too high for the US market.  People here and in Europe might turn more to vitamins to cover the losses in the FCOJ market supply.

    Mexico would be able to help offset the losses from Brazil but the country has had weather problems of its own.  Northern growing areas have been in drought this year and production has suffered.  Central and southern Mexico are in generally good condition but the drought in the north has cut the overall production back at least a little bit.  This will impact Mexico’s ability to export at a time when everyone will be looking for FCOJ.  So, the outlook for higher prices remains intact for now and New York futures traders will be looking to extend buying in the market on any price setbacks.

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 11 Sep
    Protein-enriched juice drinks – the next big beverage trend?

    Protein-enriched juice drinks – the next big beverage trend?

    Protein

    What if you could give consumers the same, refreshing experience of a morning glass of juice while also helping them squeeze in the many health benefits of protein, too? Here Joe Katterfield, Sales Development Manager, Health & Performance Nutrition at Arla Foods Ingredients, explains why protein and juice are perfect partners.

     

    ‘Kitchen Medicine’ and the rise of functional beverages

    Arla Foods Ingredients recently worked with Health Focus International on a global consumer study to identify the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the way we eat and shop for health. One of the trends it highlighted was ‘kitchen medicine’ – a heightened interest in nutrition and an increased willingness to pay a premium for functional health through diet.

    The proportion of people globally opting for foods and beverages that provide protective, preventative health benefits grew to 17% by October 2020, up from 12% at the start of the year, while those choosing products for specific medicinal purposes grew from 9% to 12% over the same period. The number of people taking vitamins, minerals and supplements once a week or more for general health also grew, from 45% to 62%. The study also found that consumers are willing to pay up to 10% more for foods and beverages which provide immunity benefits.[1]

    Among the categories to benefit from this trend are fortified and functional beverages, the global market for which is forecast to grow to USD 125 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 5.1%.[2]

    The mainstreaming of protein

    While the past year and a half has of course seen surging demand for immune health benefits, over the longer term, there has been another big nutrition story. Protein-fortified products used to be primarily the concern of the sports nutrition sector, but have gone on to achieve huge popularity with mainstream consumers. This has happened for several reasons – a growing body of scientific evidence for protein’s health benefits (in areas like satiety, weight loss and muscle growth), positive media coverage, and high-protein diets like keto and paleo.

    The focus on consuming the right amount of protein has never been higher and consumers are now used to seeing high-protein versions of their favourite products. This includes the beverage category, where high-protein and source of protein claims increased by 8.6% between 2015 and 2020.[3]

    Protein – reinforcing juice’s feel-good reputation

    Juices of course have a traditional association with wellness. They can be an ideal way to replenish the body’s sugar reserves, while delivering vitamins, minerals and the many other healthy ingredients in fruit and vegetables.

    However, media headlines about the effects of excessive consumption on dental health and diabetes risk have increased consumer caution around high-sugar choices, leaving manufacturers looking for new ways to keep juice’s feel-good reputation alive and well. This is creating new demand for innovative functional beverages, and protein-enriched juice drinks represent a particularly exciting opportunity in the sector. Like juices, protein has a powerful association with health, and unlike some beverage ingredients, it doesn’t set alarm bells ringing – in fact it’s likely to increase appeal.

    Overcoming issues with taste and mouthfeel

    The demand for high-protein products more mainstream consumer groups has increased the importance of delivering great taste and mouthfeel.  As a result, lot of our R&D is now focused on helping manufacturers overcome common challenges relating to the taste, texture and mouthfeel of protein, which can limit its commercial appeal.

    One of our solutions in particular is the perfect way to bring the benefits of protein to juice drinks. Lacprodan ISO.Clear is a whey protein isolate developed for the fortification of functional beverages without cloudiness, graininess or off-taste. It has a protein content of 90%, offers high heat stability and is clear in solution, making it suitable for pasteurized or UHT processed juice drinks.

    To showcase its potential, we recently launched a new protein-enriched juice drink concept. It shows how manufacturers can use Lacprodan ISO.Clear to deliver the benefits of whey protein isolate in a refreshing, great-tasting juice drink format with no added sugar. It demonstrates how juice drinks fortified with Lacprodan ISO.Clear can be positioned for a variety of markets, for example as a breakfast offering, a post-workout recovery drink, or a beverage for older consumers and medical patients who need extra protein.

    Juices containing Lacprodan ISO. Clear taste exactly the way juice drinks should, but with the benefit of high-quality, natural whey protein isolate. It’s also easy to add to existing recipes and works well with almost all juice types, including clear juice drinks. We’ve thoroughly tested these combinations with the commonly used production equipment and parameters used for juice manufacturing to ensure easy implementation into production set-up. Furthermore, the addition of protein to juice drinks can be further enhanced with other health-promoting ingredients such as vitamins, minerals and probiotics.

    A new spin on an established favourite

    In short, protein can be the perfect way to polish the health halo of juice drinks. It’s also a great strategy for differentiating products, especially in a market where novel functional benefits are increasingly sought by health-conscious consumers. And with ingredients like Lacprodan ISO.Clear it’s now possible to put a new spin on an established consumer favourite without compromising on taste.

    Arla Foods

    [1] Covid-19 data was collected by Health Focus International in October 2020 with approximately 500 respondents per country. The study covered USA, Brazil, China, UK, Spain and Germany.

    [2] Euromonitor International, 2020

    [3] Innova Database, 2020

    By Caroline Calder Features
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