Features

  • 13 Mar
    CASE STUDY  From field to shelf, Sono Global’s acquisition of the Cajuba juice production facility in Bahia, Brazil strengthens the company’s fully integrated chain business model

    CASE STUDY From field to shelf, Sono Global’s acquisition of the Cajuba juice production facility in Bahia, Brazil strengthens the company’s fully integrated chain business model

    Sono Global recently acquired the Cajuba juice production facility at Nova Soure in Bahia, Brazil with a view to complementing and increasing its product range. The plant has the capacity to produce both FCOJ and Tropical juices (including passion fruit, mango and acerola, amongst others). Following a downturn in the plant’s fortunes due to funding problems and lack of access to the key markets, Sono Global stepped in and acquired the company back in July 2016. This was part of their strategy of adding another key link in the integrated supply chain that Sono Global are pioneering in the fruit juice industry through the introduction of a business model that has been so successful in other commodities such as oil.

    Fruit Juice Focus talks with three of the principles of Sono Global: Frank Runge, Darren Jenkins (CEO) and Richard Malpass.

    Fruit Juice Focus (FJF): Could you give a brief background to Sono Global

    Sono Global (SG): Sono was formed in 2010 with the objective of becoming an integrated fruit juice production and distribution business, focusing on our first production plant in Ghana. From that initial business the group has developed to the point where we now have two production units, a distribution and packaging solutions business, Maia, and two trading arms, Steinhauser in the US and Sono Bv in Europe.

    FJF: You purchased a production facility in Brazil in July last year. How did this come about?

    SG: We are always looking for production assets in prime locations to expand the range of products that we can supply to our customers. We have been aware of the plant in Brazil for some time and its excellent access to a wide range of tropical and citrus fruits.  As the plant was part of a larger group which was in Administration the challenge was to find a way of acquiring the plant from the authorities. This was a very complex process and took far longer than we expected.

    FJF: What were the reasons behind the failure of the Cajuba operation before the acquisition?

    SG: The world of banking for a commodity our size has changed quite dramatically. In the recent past the agricultural banks were comfortable with financing this (Cajuba) type of business and the various seasonal fluctuations that went with them. But after the banking crisis the majority of these banks decided to restructure with the aim of looking to invest in commodities that were far greater than the citrus industry. So for Cajuba they were falling unfortunately into the bracket of being too small for one and then too big for the tier below and so the business ultimately failed. However it must be noted that this was not due to the orange juice side of the operation, as that is actually a fairly standardised and commoditised business, but it was on the tropicals side of the business that the funding became an issue. The tropical fruits are very expensive and you require an awful lot of financing to fund the cash flow requirements at peak times when they come into season. The Cajuba plant is an integrated plant where you need both critrus and tropical to work simultaneously. You can’t switch a plant like this on with just the tropicals and then not run the orange line and vice versa, you need both as a contributor to the fixed cost. They might not make the margins or the profit at the same time but you need to run them both simultaneously.

    The other problem was that this was a very Brazilian inwardly looking organisation and they didn’t have access to the European and US export markets for tropical products leaving it stuck in a trap in terms of market.

    FJF: Had the plant ceased operations when Sono took over? 

    SG: It wasn’t quite ‘mothballed’ but it was in a state where it needed a fair bit of refurbishment to get it up and running again.

    FJF:  How long had the plant been operating before you purchased it?

    SG: The original plant had been producing juices and concentrates since the early 1970s including cashew, mango, passion fruit, acerola and guava.

    FJF: Were you able to get any local government support or aid to help get the plant up and running?

    SG: No. We’ve learned from having our first plant in Ghana (Africa) not to rely on government aid or grants. They may come later. People are very happy that we are here in Brazil and providing a welcome boost to the local economy but this has not translated into any offers of financial support or investment.

    FJF: Are you able to say how much Sono invested in the purchase?

    SG: This is confidential information although part of the information is available from the public records office in Brazil but this doesn’t give the complete picture.

    FJF: How many people does the plant employ?

    SG: The plan is to bring the workforce up to about 180 employees when we are fully up and running and bringing on different fruits at different times. At the moment we employ around 120 staff.

    FJF: There has been much talk over the past decade of juice traders being squeezed on price by both the big producers and the big global supermarkets. Was this part of your reason to get into production?

    SG: We have always been a producer of juice, which also trades a number of other products. Our plan is to sell more and more of our own production. This gives us control of the whole supply chain which for many of our customers is becoming a key issue.

    FJF: This strategy of controlling the whole supply chain is an interesting one and quite new to the fruit juice industry. How have you developed this for Sono?

    SG: We (Darren and Frank) and a lot of the other investors come historically from an oil background where integrated chains were created as early as the eighties and the nineties. In the business that we are finding ourselves here there are very few players who have an integrated chain. You have got the brands whether they are supermarkets or just big brands on the one side who don’t really look for an integrated chain. They just make sure they have got the right quality at the right price point at the right delivery point throughout the year. And then you’ve got the super-producers who again don’t really go down this integrated route either, and in-between you have the people who do the infrastructure – the shipping industry, the warehouse industry. But somebody who really goes from field to shelf is very very rare in this sector.

    We are working to overlay and map out a process that works for another commodity such as oil into the fruit juice industry. So far so good. People are ultimately interested more and more in having security but not ownership or control over the food that they process. So if you are a brand that would like to have an integrated chain but are not in a position to do so for whatever reason, their business model may not allow it or for reasons of the size of their company they can’t develop the chain scenario. But they like the principle and security of whole integrated chain – and that’s where we at Sono come in. Our model aims to control the agricultural asset and deliver that security to the end user. They want to know where their crops are grown, they want to know who the farmer is and they want to know who the people are that are picking it and to know they are being paid properly and they are paying their taxes and they have healthcare and all those things but they don’t want to own the asset to give them that security.

    FJF: Why did you choose to invest in the Brazilian industry?

    SG: We invested in Brazil simply because of the access it provides us to high value tropical products, such as acerola and passion fruit.

    FJF: Do Sono Global own plantations in addition to the production plant?

    SG: We currently do not own plantations, however in the correct circumstances we would not rule this out. Our current model is to contract grow many of our crops. For instance in Ghana we are currently contract growing 15,000MT of MD2 pineapple which the Pinora plant will process.

    FJF: What might the correct circumstances be?

    SG: It is difficult to predict at this stage in our development. It is a huge outlay of capital. Owning land is not the expensive part as we have figured out. It is the irrigation and the plantation, so it becomes a different pot of money that would seek to invest in owning a plantation.

    At present we give plantations the outlet. If you grow it we will be there with the plant and convert it into another commodity. We prefer a relationship with a farmer, who is near to us, where we have a certain dependency on each other. We do a longer term joint venture or growing deal with them as we are not the agronomist, they are. We see no added benefit in owning a piece of land and doing the agronomy ourselves because none of us are agronomists and that is not our focus.

    FJF: What, if any, have been the main obstacles you have faced so far with the facility? And how were these overcome?

    SG: We have not faced any unforeseen obstacles with the plant to-date. We had sufficient time to plan the process with our excellent management team on site and we are delighted the project has run very efficiently so far.

    FJF: Have you kept the local management team in place or have you had to draft in your own people to get the plant up and running?

    SG: From the 180 people that we will have in place when we are fully operational there would be most likely 90 of the original staff, and yes it’s on the management side that we have made changes to the workforce. You just can’t all of a sudden find a workforce locally that is qualified to transform the operation to the level and standards we require. So we brought over key personnel from the management team running our African plant where we spent a time and resource getting that up to speed and working perfectly. Now we are using this expertise in the Brazilian operation. We have a technical guru who has gone into Brazil and done all the work that was needed to get the plant up to the level that it is now so we can confidently produce all of the juice that the plant allows us to.

    FJF: Were there any issues with quality certification standards and laboratory facilities?

    SG: The plant had all of the normal certificates beforehand, BRC (British Retail Consortium) and so on and we are just going through the process now of reinstating everything because it is effectively a new plant. There are two great labs on site which have been refurbished and brought up-to-date so we are basically self-contained in that respect.

    FJF: Are there any specific directions that you hope to take the Cajuba plant in?

    SG: We are seeking to develop the Agro supply base around the Cajuba plant in the coming years, with a view to having around half of our fruit contract grown in the next five years. It is also our intention to develop the volume for organic fruit we process at the plant. In our Ghana plant 39% of the fruit we process is organic or Fairtrade.

    FJF: With regards sustainability, do you plan to introduce the support initiatives of the local farmers with farm school programmes similar to those you run in the African plant?

    SG: Yes we do. Although the position in Brazil is slightly different. In Ghana, we still run these programmes and there we have now educated some 2500 farmers who we have put through a six course module on everything from planting to pruning, weeding to spraying, and given them log books, and undertaken practical as well as theoretical work with them. We have a background in providing that level of educational support to our farmers. It is essential because otherwise the quality of the fruit that we get delivered is too poor. In Brazil they are slightly further ahead in sophistication but we have contracted an agronomist to work with the Cajuba plant because there may be different things that for certain markets we have to control to ensure that the organic chain remains intact, such as the level of pesticide for example. And for that you need an agronomist who can provide schooling for the farmers to help them understand that there is an additional value to them if they control their crop better.

    FJF: Could you give some capacity information on the plant and also the varieties of juice you plan to produce?

    SG: The plant has four lines in total, one running orange products, the remaining three focusing on tropical fruit. The plant is able to process approximately 100,000 tonnes of fruit a year. The main products are frozen concentrated orange juice and cold pressed oil, passion fruit juice, acerola Juice, mango Juice, cashew Juice as well as a variety of other locally consumed products. These juices can be produced as either cloudy or clarified, and we have the ability to run purees and puree concentrates as well. The plant itself is very versatile which is one of the reasons it’s so attractive.

    FJF: In addition to the fruit processing facilities at the plant do you have packaging facilities on site?

    SG: We pack into drums and bins. When we bought the plant there was a tetra pack line there – it was a pretty old line and we had no intention of using it. It’s not our model – we are simply bulk producers of bulk juices. We leave it to the experts to bottle and pack it.

    FJF: In terms of location, is the plant in a good location to serve both the local and international markets. Is it near good road, rail and ports?

    SG: A bit challenged with regards the railways! And it is not exactly close to the port but there is a reasonable road network. This is the sort of thing you learn when you start working in countries like Brazil. 400km for most people in Brazil is like a walk in the park, but it’s still a very long ride in a lorry pulling a container of juice, but it’s perfectly ok, perfectly manageable. The key is that the plant is right bang in the middle of the agricultural area. If you bear in mind that we are making concentrated juices and normally moving ten times more fruit than we are when producing juice it is more important to be close to the fruit!

    FJF: Which destination markets are you targeting?

    SG: Primarily we are targeting the European and US markets and the local markets where appropriate.

    FJF: What do you see as the key consumer juice trends in the medium term? And how do you plan to address these?

    SG: There is a continual trend towards cold pressed juice and puree, and the use of vegetable juices in blends will continue to grow as the focus on the negative issues around sugar intake continue. We see organic products continuing to grow in the medium term. To meet these demands its more about having the right Agro supply chain to support these demands, which we have available to us in both of our production locations.

    FJF: Are the trends global or do they differ in the various markets you operate in?

    SG: They are basically trends in the high value markets. Cold pressed juices are too expensive for more normal people to be able to buy so they are very much an American and European trend. You certainly don’t see that kind of demand in other parts of the world.

    FJF: Is demand for organic and Fairtrade products on the increase from your customers? 

    SG: The market leader is Europe, followed by the US with more and more interest in the US. People locally don’t really value it because they see the fruit which is growing on their doorstep so there is no premium for it in the local market.

    FJF: Are you looking at any other acquisitions/mergers in 2017 and beyond? If so, in which markets?

    SG: In the coming year we are going through a short period of consolidation, whilst we put all of our business units on to an integrated ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system. The ERP system understands what the demand is and does all of the maths relating to this. It’s basically an accounting system.

    We are however still investing in our businesses, for instance in Ghana we are installing a cold pressed oil facility to extract further value from the process. We are also installing a Solar park at this plant to reduce costs and improve our CO2 footprint.

    One of the attractions of the Brazilian acquisition was the wide range of premium products that we can now get involved in. Clarification of juices is another key thing for us going forward. Our ability to clarify high end products is a valuable piece of the jigsaw for us. Sono Global plans to be the go-to company for those who have a demand for clarified juice products.

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 13 Mar
    The market for organic fruit juices in the Nordic region is on fire	 	 	 

    The market for organic fruit juices in the Nordic region is on fire      

    Fruit Juice Focus talks with Jyri Kähönen CEO of Raikastamo (aka Freshery Drinks) about their journey from small beginnings to being one of Finland’s leading organic fruit juice producers

    The market for organic fruit juices in the Nordic region is on fire. There is huge awareness and demand at present and growth shows no signs of slowing down. In Sweden the organic market grew by 25% in 2015 and in Finland growth levels were at 12% whereas the conventional groceries market in Finland managed only 0.3% growth in the same period according to the Finnish Organic Food Association.

    Raikastamo are one of Finland’s leading organic fruit juice producers and their products can now be spotted in the best cafes and shops across Finland and neighbouring Nordic countries.

    Fruit Juice Focus (FJF): Can you tell us a little bit about your company and why you entered the organic fruit juice market?

    Jyri Kähönen (JK): Raikastamo got started from very small beginnings – we were six friends who started pressing apple juice from an apple orchard in Southern Finland. We were lucky to win the prize for the Best Finnish Organic Product in our first year of operation. That’s when things got rolling.

    At the moment we are growing fast – now we are operating in three categories in premium organic bottled juice drinks for HoReCa, children’s organic juice drinks and organic carbonated sodas. During 2017 we will launch a range of 1 litre organic juice drinks for the retail market and a new craft soda brand. We have achieved a steady foothold in the Finnish retail market and are in the process of expanding to other Nordic markets. In the international market we operate under brand name Freshery.

    The organic market provided us a point of entry to the market as a whole. There was still space for a small organic player such as ourselves between the big established players like Valio, Refresco Finland and Eckes-Granini. Also the Minimum Order Quantities (MOQs) for organic ingredients are usually much smaller than for conventional products. That enabled us to source from the global market in the first place – the minimum quantities for conventional products would have been overwhelming for us in the beginning.

    FJF: How do you as a company and your products achieve organic status? Is there a certification process?

    JK: The organic certification process is strict. It is supervised by the national and EU supervision authorities. In Finland the certification is granted by The Finnish Food Safety Authority and the licence is audited annually. The Finnish Customs run random laboratory tests on a regular basis to check for traces of pesticides and other forbidden ingredients from the raw materials we use and the finished products we sell.

    FJF: How and where do you source your organic raw materials, or do you grow them yourselves? Can supply keep up with demand?

    JK: The Finnish domestic supply does not satisfy our need. We are also operating with citrus and other more exotic fruits for which there is no supply from the local market. We source our supply from the global market via agents and also directly from the supplier of the raw materials.

    The annual alternation of the crop levels in organic farming is much more volatile than in conventional farming because of the smaller scale and because no pesticides or fertilizers are allowed which means that we have to be constantly reviewing our sources of supply. So far we have been able to satisfy our needs but as we are expanding we might face challenges in the future on that side as well.

    FJF: What challenges has your company faced and how have you been able to overcome them?

    JK: The awareness for organic products in the Nordic market is on a good level. Luckily the days when it was necessary to educate or convince the consumers are over. Now we are able to focus on developing our brand and sales in a far more receptive market.

    The big question with the retailers is always the price point. The organic ingredients and raw materials bear a higher price in comparison with conventional ingredients and raw materials and that, naturally, has an effect on the consumer price point as well. The only way to justify the higher price point is to focus on quality and the strong brand.

    From the beginning we have considered marketing as our core competence. In our team we have a television commercial director and an industrial designer, and one of the founding partners was a director for consumer experience in a major IT company. Therefore we had a strong orientation on marketing and brand building from the onset. I believe that is what differentiated us from the other small, production-orientated players.

    FJF: How do you see the organic market developing, and you as a company within the organic space?

    JK: As a small, growing company we plan to work market by market. At the moment we are focusing on the Nordic market. There is still plenty of work and room for development for us here. Having said that, we are always open to discussion if the right distributor should walk in from some other territory.

    Image credits: Antti-Jussi Rantala

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 12 Mar
    Restoring consumer confidence by rapid authenticity and identity testing for juices and juice ingredients

    Restoring consumer confidence by rapid authenticity and identity testing for juices and juice ingredients

    Stefanie Hellbach (1), Paul Rösch (1,2), Stephan Schwarzinger (1,2)

    ALNuMed GmbH, Bayreuth (1)

    Research Center for Biomacromolecules, University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth  (2)

    Consumers complaining about the quality of a brand product or, even worse, a critical media report by a consumer organization always cause significant costs in trade. In recent years, falsely labelled products pretending superior quality, premium provenance or premium variety caused dramatic losses in consumer confidence, resulting in a loss of faith in product declarations of a large number of consumers. To guarantee the value of store products it is therefore of utmost importance to ensure their quality and authenticity. For both, raw materials and end products, magnetic resonance (MR) based ingredient profiling offers a quick and versatile way to simultaneously screen quality and authenticity, in particular when applied to fruit juice, wine, honey, edible oils and related foods.

    Food fraud is the modern spectre producers, retailers and entire branches of the food industry are afraid of. Scandals such as the horse-meat issue weaken consumer confidence – not only in products of single “black sheep“, but rather in much of the food industry. Thus, products with fraudulent declaration, if or when discovered, damage all participants of the value chain.

    Fraud identification is a very difficult task, as adulterations are in many cases performed with great care and expertise. Rare are those cases in which a single parameter identifies an adulteration. Often, an adulteration is cleverly masked by addition of a blend of ingredients. Particularly difficult to uncover is food-origin laundry, that is the fraudulent labelling of food with a wrong geographic location. Although numerous expensive and time-consuming analyses are often being conducted to reveal food-origin laundry, it is difficult to obtain even close to 100 % confidence.

    SGF (Sure-Global-Fair) Juice-Profiling (1), originally developed and now continuously maintained with support of SGF International (www.sgf.org), and BatchCheck are cost and time efficient alternatives that are based on the magnetic resonance spectra of the foodstuff to be tested. SGF Juice-Profiling relies on a single quick measurement that allows it to quantitatively assess numerous ingredients. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy has a unique dynamic range and high resolution, rendering simultaneous quantification of dozens of substances possible at very high and very low concentrations within a short measurement.

    Very simple sample preparation adds to robustness and reproducibility of the method. For instance, this juice profiling method allows a quick estimate of the concentrations of sugars, organic acids and amino acids, replacing costly and time-consuming traditional analyses and allowing the comparison of the spectral fingerprint with a database of thousands of authentic samples. Thus, fruit type, geographic origin, fruit content and even unexpected and yet unknown adulterations can be quickly screened.  Even if the results from the juice profiling were not perfectly conclusive, usually based on the composition an efficient and inexpensive route for additional analysis – if needed at all – can be delineated of the basis of the profiling results. At present, SGF Juice-Profiling is available for more than 30 fruit types and delivers up to 37 quantitative results in addition to authenticity testing (fruit dependent).

    Adulteration frequently occurs along the trade-chain. Consequently, merchandise samples and delivered batch are not always identical. BatchCheck takes advantage of the high resolution and the unmatched reproducibility of magnetic resonance spectroscopy regarding quantitative information. The procedure relies on the comparison of the quantitative spectral fingerprints of the merchandise sample and a sample drawn from the delivered batch. By contrast to, e.g., stable isotope methods, where typically a handful of parameters are used for such comparisons, BatchCheck utilizes several hundreds of signals available from the magnetic resonance spectrum (Figure 1). Using statistical methods fingerprints of the merchandise sample and the batch that was finally sold are compared in back-to-back measurements with highest sensitivity in the shortest possible time. In the case of deviations of the two samples that are being compared, combined with the quantitative evaluation available from SGF Juice-Profiling can aid identification of deliberate adulteration, dilution or quality defects resulting from inappropriate storage before, during or after transportation.

    Today, magnetic resonance based profiling tests are routinely applied for quality and authenticity screening of fruit juices, wines and honey. Applications include testing of raw materials as well as finalized and packaged products. The method is applied by the private sector as well as governmental agencies. Utilization of a centralized ISO 17025 accredited evaluation method in combination with the outstanding reproducibility of the magnetic resonance technology, maximum comparability and reproducibility of results is ensured. SGF Juice-Profiling has been applied for over 10 years in the market. The Honey-Profiling (2,3) module that was added recently expands the capabilities of the profiling method. With this newly available module it is possible to quickly screen for adulteration of honey, an important ingredient for many fruit juices. Hence, magnetic resonance based profiling offers significant advantages for time and cost savings in production, and can make an important contribution to regain lost consumer confidence.

    Fig 1 (a)Fig 1 (b)

    Figure 1: ALNuMed’s BatchCheck relies on the quantitative information of hundreds of signals available from a magnetic resonance ingredient fingerprint. In the above, two expansions of such ingredient fingerprints are shown (10 % of total fingerprint; magnetic resonance scale in ppm [parts per million], intensity scale in arbitrary units). The right panel shows fingerprint traces from two different batches of a fruit puree, while the left panel depicts ingredient fingerprints of two samples of the same batch. It can clearly be seen that the fingerprints of samples from different production batches differ significantly – despite resembling the same fruit type. By contrast, the fingerprints of the same sample depicted in the right panel are essentially identical. The region selected typically shows signals of phenolic substances, which are present at comparatively low concentrations. Of note, from the same measurement magnetic resonance allows quantification of ingredients present at much higher concentrations, including sugars and organic acids. The resulting quantitative fingerprint differs in quality and reproducibility form other available technologies and even allows testing for fruit variety, dilution, and geographic origin of the fruit with SGF Juice-Profiling.

    Literature:

    (1) Spraul M et al.: NMR-Based Multi Parametric Quality Control of Fruit Juices: SGF Profiling. Nutrients 1(2), 148-155 (2009). doi: 10.3390/nu1020148

    (2) Schwarzinger S et al.: More than honey? Rapid authenticity testing of honey with NMR spectroscopy and consequences for sample preparation. Q&More 2, 36-43 (2014). http://rs1.chemie.de/images/23940.pdf

    (3) Schwarzinger S et al.: Authentic food: Why a single analysis parameter is not enough. Q&More 1, 37-43 (2016). http://rs1.chemie.de/images/30172.pdf

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 10 Mar
    How the juice industry can adapt to the future of healthy drinks

    How the juice industry can adapt to the future of healthy drinks

    Stefan Fageräng, Managing Director of North West Europe, Tetra Pak

    Consumer habits and lifestyles are changing in many cases for the better, but for the drinks and particularly juice industry, change comes with a considerable number of hurdles and opportunities.

    At a macro level, people are consuming the same or more calories than they did previously, yet they are burning off fewer calories due to their increasingly sedentary lifestyles (1). As we consume more and exercise less, poor health and obesity are issues which clearly go well beyond the influence of one industry sector. Collaboration will be key to avoiding a very serious health crisis in Britain. Industry, government, and health experts must work in partnership to deliver positive change to consumer lifestyles, while encouraging further reformulation in the drinks industry and beyond.

    Why now?

    In the Tetra Pak Future of Healthy Drinks report, we looked at how concerns over obesity levels are starting to influence consumer behaviour and purchasing decisions and what this spells for the future of healthy drinks in the UK. Juice companies must appeal to consumers and see the new health agenda advocated by the UK government as an opportunity for innovation.

    The announcement of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy in March 2016 marked a turning point for the industry, and calls on drinks manufacturers to be accountable for the effect of the ingredients in their products, particularly sugar. Consumers are already becoming more concerned about sugar and calorie intake with more than half worrying about the volume of sugar in their food (2).

    There is already positive innovation in the juice market, as producers launch new drinks with low sugar content or natural ingredients. However, meeting the demands of both the public and the government’s agenda around health remains a challenge. Consumers may be increasingly health-conscious but they still seek indulgence from their beverages. They don’t want to be restricted in their choices just because they’ve decided to take a healthier approach to their food and drink intake (3). It’s about striking a balance – a combination of excitement and adventure, coupled with healthy nutrition.

    What innovation is already happening? 

    Whilst there is concern about healthy consumption, choice and flexibility remain a must for consumers. Portion control and reformulated products play a large role in helping consumers make healthy choices and we are starting to see the juice industry make changes in these areas.

    In depth: Cawston Press

    Cawston Press Kids Blend Sunshine Sipper Landscape

    Cawston Press noticed that consumers’ tastes were changing, and that as part of this people were drinking more plain water, flavoured waters, and generally moving away from overly sweet products, not just in drinks but across the board. As parents themselves, the Cawston team were watering down juice for their own kids, so decided to develop a range of kids’ drinks made from a blend of 60% pure juice and 40% water. In addition to being a product they thought children would like, they felt that for kids who might not have drunk juice before, this was an important opportunity to train their palates to like less sweet things.

    Cawston’s instincts proved well founded: the Kids’ Blends range has done very well since it was launched in 2012. The team recently launched a new variant, ‘Sunshine Sipper’, a blend of fruit and vegetable juices (orange, apple, and carrot), water, and vitamin C, and are also looking at expanding into new markets, such as the US.

    What does the future look like?

    There’s no ‘silver bullet’ solution to solve the current health issues we’re facing in Britain. The government’s obesity plan and the Soft Drinks Industry Levy will continue to cause great debate, and while the drinks industry has already shown a willingness to tackle the problem, there is still a lot more to be done.

    There are practical ways that juice drinks producers can address these challenges. Discussions must continue between experts in industry, health and nutrition committees, and the government, whilst keeping in mind the needs and desires of consumers. There are still a lot more innovation opportunities open to juice drinks producers to encourage healthier consumer choices. Healthy, sustainable nutrition is clearly here to stay; the successful businesses of the future will be the ones which recognise and act upon this.

     

    1 Cut Down on your Calories – NHS – http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/eat-less.aspx

    2 Bridgethorne Shopper Index

    3 Fruit juice, juice drinks and smoothies UK, Mintel Report 2015

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 02 Jan
    Coco-colossal

    Coco-colossal

    Twelve years ago, during a casual outing to a New York City bar, childhood friends Mike Kirban and Ira Liran met two young women from Brazil. Shortly after that night, Ira hopped on a plane to Brazil to see one of the girls and learned that the coconut water hype was real. When Mike came to visit a few months later, they got down to business with a plan to bring coconut water to the US. Vita Coco was born. The rest as they say is history.

    By Steve Features
  • 01 Jan
    The Spread Of Citrus Greening Continues To Be A Worry For The Florida Citrus Industry

    The Spread Of Citrus Greening Continues To Be A Worry For The Florida Citrus Industry

    Citrus greening is a disease that is devastating millions of acres of citrus crops throughout the United States and has already killed massive quantities of citrus plants in Florida and surrounding states causing concern for the future of commercial citrus growers and citrus supply to the fruit juice industry.

    By Steve Features
  • 01 Jan
    A better contracting method for Europe’s juice apples

    A better contracting method for Europe’s juice apples

    When you introduce a Futures contract to an agricultural cash market you suddenly have the ability to solve problems long considered a fixed part of the business. It is the hedging capability that adds a new dimension. Otherwise a supplier must add in his risk to provide fixed prices.

    By Steve Features
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