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14th November 2018

Juice Summit: fresh ideas on tap

This year’s Juice Summit in Antwerp was another great success for the organisers, reports Caroline Whibley

In a packed programme the AIJN, together with its partners the IFU and SGF, produced an outstanding agenda that managed to cover a very wide variety of issues and challenges for the future of the fruit juice industry.

Challenges it seems are many, perhaps never before has the food & drink industry so much change and uncertainty. Roll back 50 years or so and a marketer’s biggest problem would be how to introduce new brands, how to get people to switch – a tough challenge. Today however we seem to be hopping about all over the place – achieving long term ‘brand loyalty’ with something new is to be dreamed about.

So much of the talk in the crowd was about steps to reduce sugar, ‘mindful choices’ just one of the many phrases, ‘putting a fresh spin’ on everything and how to deliver ‘novel experiences’ – what happened to producing fruit juice hey!?

Slavery-free-products were talked about across the fruit juice industry with some surprising facts that needed more time and new non-thermal tech in the processing sector with ultra-rapid processing key to speeding up the fruit-to-product process with new microbiological breakthroughs.

Speakers and panellists at the Summit went on to share their vision in a number of stimulating sessions over a two-day programme including: Dynamics of the Global Fruit Juice Market, Trends & Challenges for the Agro-Food & Fruit Juice Industry, The Juice Supply Chain – Outlook & Challenges, Tapping into the Mind of the Consumer, and various regional market updates.

“92% of 18-35 year olds

are now consuming

snacks instead of meals”

What are the global trends and where are the emerging markets? What are the challenges?  Crop disease, disastrous weather patterns, political manoeverings, China, and of course Brexit. If only we had a crystal ball on that one.  I’m hoping, that Brexit becomes like the millennium bug we all worried about and we just move forward in a rational manner and continue doing what we do best with no disasters. But I think I am a glass is half full person . . .

‘Snackification’ was a term Welch’s used which stood out for me, referring to a study that stated that 92% of 18-35 year olds are now consuming snacks instead of meals. We have seen a 25% increase in fruit & vegetable snack launches from 2012-16. They also commented that words like ‘healthfulness’ resonated with customers when making their purchasing choices.

It does seem sort of ironic that the ‘healthfulness’ marketing might be getting through, i.e. consumer thinks they have done something healthy because they have been told the product is healthy for them . . . but are they actually being healthy if they rely on ‘snacking’ for sustenance? I don’t know? Breakfast, lunch and dinner is looking to be on the way out as a timetable for eating and drinking with young people, I’m just wondering what the long term effect will be.

Tetrapak also refer to consumers increasingly looking for an easy shopping experience, and the effect of the growth of online retail. Packaging it seems needs to be able to survive in an e-commerce world, as new digital printing code-based consumer ‘engagement’ solutions were discussed.

I thought the Nova School of Business Economics presentation by Jao Castro was ‘novel’ in itself, with the use of ‘Economist’ magazine cover statements to illustrate his point. Changing consumer behaviour he’s noting is something that worries marketers who would like to put people into their little boxes and keep them there, but change also provides an opportunity, the very fact that consumers ‘bring on’ change far more easily than they used to decades ago, shows that we are increasingly becoming receptive to new ideas and new thinking and this can only provide opportunities. Moreover it provides opportunities for new companies and start-ups too who would previously found too many barriers to launch. Online marketing, social media marketing are perfect for ‘guerrilla brands’ to sneak in and gain an audience.

The Juice Summit is organized by and for the industry, which makes it a unique experience in this field. Thanks to its success over the last six events, the Juice Summit is now a global, annual conference which guarantees the presence of renowned industry experts who are active on both the European and international juice scene.

For more information regarding the speakers and programme e: charlotte.meuwis@aijn.org

 

By Caroline Whibley Features Share: