Features

  • 11 May
    Cacao-fruit juice – unlocking the next generation of drinks

    Cacao-fruit juice – unlocking the next generation of drinks

     

     

    The cacaofruit is on the rise and several industries start using this unique fruit for products such as sweet snacks and chocolate. But what is so special about this somehow well-known and at the same time unknown fruit? And what can it do for beverages?

    Everybody knows chocolate and cocoa, but hardly anyone knows where it actually comes from. Chocolate is made from the seeds of the cacaofruit. For centuries, the cacaofruit has been harvested for its seeds (beans). Over time, the association with fruit became lost. However, just like an apple or orange, the cacaofruit has its own uniquely fruity taste. About 14 million tonnes of cacaofruits are harvested around the world each year to craft chocolate. Because only its seeds were used, 70% of the fruit was discarded as waste.

    Cabosse Naturals, a brand of chocolate producer Barry Callebaut, decided this had to change and developed an innovative and unprecedented up-cycling supply chain to harness the natural richness of the cacaofruit. So now not only the seeds, but also the rest of the fruit can be used for multiple purposes and interesting applications in beverages.

    Origins of the fruit

    The journey of the cacaofruit starts in the tropical regions around the Equator on farms where the cacaofruit trees grow. Once ripe, the colourful fruits are harvested by hand, cleaned and opened to remove the seeds (beans) from the fresh white pulp.

    Traditionally, the cacaofruit seeds were used for chocolate, meaning that 70% of the fruit was completely discarded. Now, thanks to Cabosse Naturals, the entire fruit is upcycled. The cacaofruit cascara, which accounts for 45% of the complete cacaofruit, is dried and ground into a fine nutritious flour.

    Fruity flavours

    The cacaofruit pulp is quickly pressed into juice to preserve the fresh aromas of the fruit. Afterwards the cacaofruit juice is filtered, gently pasteurized and concentrated to obtain the cacaofruit juice concentrate.

    Time is of essence in this process and that is why the processing of the pulp needs to be done shortly after the opening of the fruit and close to the farms. The pulp and the juice of this exotic fruit are processed into delicious ingredients which surprise with their unique and zesty fruity flavor.

    The cacaofruit pulp has a clean, fresh white colour and a sweet scent of fruity honey.

    With its pleasant zesty, fruity flavour, the cacaofruit pulp has a uniquely refreshing signature taste that brings natural sweetness and delightfully refreshing fruity notes to beverages, but also ice creams and sorbet. It is a very interesting ingredient for smoothies, since it brings a natural thickness into the products and adds both sweetness and a fruity taste.

    The cacaofruit juice is characterized by a unique zesty fruitiness, making it a very refreshing fruit base for a large range of beverages. It has a golden brown colour with a fruity scent and naturally contains magnesium and potassium. The cacaofruit juice is particularly suited for the usage in beverages such as juice mixes to bring a delicious and exotic flavour.

    The third ingredient for beverage applications, the cacaofruit juice concentrate, adds an intense fruity sweetness and a unique signature flavour to drinks, sorbets and ice creams.

    Opportunity

    With its natural sweetness and zesty fruitiness, cacaofruit is also an interesting ingredient for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails. Its unique flavor matches well with a wide range of alcoholic beverages and meets the demand for new and exotic flavours.

    Today’s consumers show an increasing interest in health and wellbeing with a desire to live happy, healthy lives. This is particularly important to millennials and centennials, who have distinctive tastes and desires in their food and beverage choices. Their understanding of ‘happiness’ extends beyond themselves and into the world around them. Therefore, food and drinks need to not only be delicious and nutritious, but must also have a positive impact on the planet and its people. Millennials and centennials are making more conscious decisions about the food and beverage choices in their daily life. They want products that are considered to be healthy and that they can feel good about buying.

    With its range of 100% pure cacaofruit ingredients, Cabosse Naturals, unlocks a next generation of food and drinks, that are not only tasty but also nutritious and good for the planet and its people.

    To fully harness the potential of the cacaofruit, Cabosse Naturals teamed up with European B2B-Food-Ingredients Supplier Bösch Boden Spies to promote and supply the European beverage industry with this unique, nutrient rich and exciting upcycled fruit.

    For more information please contact e: dirk.naujoks@BoeschBodenSpies.com
     

    BoeschBodenSpies.com

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 11 May
    Turkey – Export surge during a pandemic, how long can this drive be maintained?

    Turkey – Export surge during a pandemic, how long can this drive be maintained?

     

    In May of 2019, Fruit Juice Focus told you the story of the rise in Juice exports from Turkey through an introduction to the Turkish Fruit Juice Industry Association (MEYED).  It’s been two years with one of COVID-19. Turkey is back to a nationwide curfew.  Remer Lane reports

    Import and export data

    Juice exports during 2020 from Turkey reached an all-time high of US USD393 million up 151% from 2019 while imported values increased by 567% to an all-time high of USD70 million, up from USD12 million in 2019. The biggest beneficiaries as suppliers to Turkey were China, Iran and Brazil who accounted for 63% of all supply.

    Of this, the primary product from China was Apple Juice Concentrate, from Iran also Apple Juice Concentrate and from Brazil Orange Juice Concentrate. Since, 2015, the Unites States has been the largest recipient of exported juices from Turkey accounting for 38% of total exports by value. Exports to the US between 2019 and 2020 saw a 186% increase in value reaching approximately USD150 million up from USD80 million.

    The key export to the US is Apple Juice Concentrate accounting for 69% of imports at USD102 million. The European Union accounts for 34% of Turkey’s exports of fruit juice at USD135 million, with the Netherlands accounting for 28%, at USD38 million.

    Apple Juice Concentrate accounts for 48% of the EU imports of fruit juice from Turkey followed by an equal amount in mixtures of fruit and vegetable juices. In total, Apple Juice Concentrate is the leader in Turkish juice exports at USD186 million accounting for 47% of total exports followed by Juices of fruits or vegetables unfermented with or without added sweeteners at 38% or USD153 million.

    Apple juice fortunes rise

    In 2019, Turkey overtook Austria to become the 3rd largest supplier or Apple Juice Concentrate to the world market. While China and Poland still lead the global supplier list, their quantities and total values have seen modest reductions while Turkey’s continues to grow. (Data derived from ITC Trade Map).

    Turkish exports of Apple Juice Concentrate (AJC) to the US market in 2021 have shown no let-up from their 2020 surge. Year-to-date as of April 24th, 2021, Turkey follows Chile as the key supplier of Organic Apple Juice Concentrate at USD502 thousand versus Chile at USD638 thousand. As to conventional AJC, Turkey is the leading supplier to the US reaching USD46 million YTD followed by China at USD39 million and Chile at USD16 million. (USDA National Apple Processing Report 29/04/21)

    Key strategies pay off

    Turkey has taken the lessons from Europe and transitioned from a single source supplier to a combination of supplying from their own production and blending with imported product to develop the right acid, colour and flavour profiles sought by US and EU buyers giving them the ability to improve their competitiveness and grow their market share. We look forward to seeing just how far Turkey can grow.

    What does the future hold . . .

    There are challenges ahead and the continued devaluation of the Turkish Lira to the USD and EURO from its peak in 2008 to today has been dramatic. The sharpest fall came in 2018 with a 34% fall against the USD with inflation shooting above 25%. In March of 2021, the Turkish Lira crashed again falling 15% against the USD with the sacking of the country’s central banker who was tightening monetary policy. Inflation is currently at 15% and interest rates are at 19%. How long Turkey can maintain their export surge and competitive supply should be taken with a cautionary grain of salt for global buyers.

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 11 May
    The market for ‘Water Plus’ – where juice is concerned

    The market for ‘Water Plus’ – where juice is concerned

     

    ‘Water plus’ drinks typically capture the market of consumers seeking a tastier and more varied alternative to plain water, writes Christina Avison, Associate Director – Commercial at Zenith Global. They also provide a healthier alternative to carbonated soft drinks (CSDs).

    Water plus products are divided into three main segments: flavoured water, functional water and juicy water. Natural ingredients including fruit juice content are highly valued by adopters of water plus for flavour enhancement and for providing ‘clean’ ingredients.

    The water plus market in the UK struggled in 2020, dominated by the impact of the global coronavirus crisis. The restrictions that were put in place to curb the infection rate of the virus that most affected water plus consumption were the closure of the hospitality and leisure channels. Alongside this, the requirement for people to stay local and work from home, where possible, resulted in a drop in impulse shopping.

    To a certain extent, demand shifted to take home grocery retail, however, this was not enough to prevent a significant overall volume decline as the number of consumer purchase occasions were restricted. At the same, many also switched to tap water with added flavourings like squash, cordials and juice to replace flavoured still water whilst at home. All of these factors combined contributed to reduce the overall market volume and value.

    Volume market headlines

    Total water plus consumption declined by 12% to 450 million litres in 2020. This equated to per capita consumption of 6.6 litres, down by 1 litre per person, from 7.6 litres in the previous year.

    Flavoured water was the largest segment by volume, with 390 million litres sold, accounting for 87% of total sector volume, up from 86% in 2019. Despite making market share gain, its annual volume fell for the second consecutive year, by nearly 11%, performing ahead of the wider water plus market.

    The juicy water segment fell at a rate of 17% to 45 million litres in 2020. This equates to a 10% share of the total water plus market.

    Functional water saw its volumes fall back from 16.5 million litres in 2019 to 13.5 million litres in 2020. This meant it had a share of 3% of the total water plus market. With a volume decline of 18%, functional water was the most significant hit sector by the pandemic.

    Value worse hit by the pandemic

    Looking at value performance, it is juicy water – with its high exposure to convenience and impulse – that suffered the worst in 2020. The value declined by 38%, dropping from £150 million in 2019 to £93 million in 2020.

    Functional water faired a little better but was impacted most by both the closure of gyms and the drop in impulse demand, falling by 26% to £34 million in 2020.

    Flavoured water held up better due to its higher presence in the retail take home segment and significantly lower price point. A staple of supermarket water aisles, flavoured water overall declined nearly 17% on 2019 to reach £303 million.

    Fizz forges ahead

    Still water plus volumes slipped last year, meanwhile sparkling water plus also declined but to a lesser extent, increasing market share from 34% to 36%. This was largely driven by new seltzer launches and the rapid adaptability of canned sparkling water plus brands to move towards case pack online sales during the pandemic.

    Sparkling water drinks across both plain and plus also appealed to a number of new customers, as consumers who were unable to dine out sought to elevate the at-home dining experience by purchasing more sparkling beverages to accompany their meal.

    Juicy water and the soft seltzer trend

    The UK juicy water segment is dominated by the leading two brands, Drench Juicy, produced by Britvic, and Volvic Juicy, produced by Danone Waters. Together, these brands command half of the segment in the UK and both are still water brands.

    There is still huge space for juicy waters in the market as well as growth potential in the future. Especially of interest is the expanding sparkling juicy water segment with brands like Nichols-owned Feel Good Drinks (which contain 15% real fruit juice), Danone’s Volvic L’mon (25% fruit juice), Britvic’s Aqua Libra, Nestlé Waters’ San Pellegrino Essenza, and Le Joli from AG Barr.

    Also making waves are those brands without big corporate backing, like Dash Water, Ugly Water and Dalston’s Seltzers.

    These are often referred to as ‘soft seltzers’; beverages that tend to attract a different type of consumer from traditional water plus, providing that ‘cold can’ feeling that sodas provide, but without any sugar or artificial ingredients as found in sugary soft drinks.

    This acceleration of healthier water drinks with higher juice content and low- or no-added sugar, largely driven by the UK Soft Drinks Industry Levy, has helped consumers become more familiar with less sweet drinks, and are educating their palettes to a dryer, less-sweet taste.

    The challenge in this space is both internal and external perception; are these high-juice, low-sugar products premium sparkling flavoured waters or sparkling juicy waters, soft seltzers, fruitful sparkling waters or adult soft drinks? The category lines are most definitely blurring and consumers and producers alike differ on terminology.

    And once you add other things to water, when does it stop being a water drink?

    Zenith Global’s UK Water Drinks Reports 2021, covering plain, flavoured, functional and juicy waters are available to purchase from www.zenithglobal.com/market-insights/reports.

     

    Zenith Global’s Water Plus Definitions

    Flavoured water

    Sweetened with sugar, sweetener or unsweetened with added fruit essence; sparkling and still natural mineral, spring or bottled drinking water with added flavourings.

    Functional water

    Functional waters have added functional ingredients, such as botanicals, vitamins, minerals, oxygen or others. Functional waters can be still or sparkling and can be flavoured or unflavoured. Such waters are marketed as having a functional positioning.

    Juicy water

    Defined as water with added juice, juice content ranges from 5% to 25-30%. However, the key attribute is consumer perception of such products as being water plus juice as opposed to a juice drink. These drinks are perceived by consumers to be closer to flavoured waters than juices/nectars.

    Water plus

    Water plus includes flavoured waters, functional waters and juicy waters as defined above.

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 10 Mar
    FCOJ update – May 2021

    FCOJ update – May 2021

    FCOJ futures were lower over the last few months and are now threatening to make new contract lows.  There were no problems noted with the Winter weather as freezes stayed well away from Florida.  Some freezes were noted in Texas and northern Mexico, but it did not get cold enough for long enough to seriously hurt production in these areas.  Now the weather is warmer but some areas in Texas and Mexico still need precipitation.  California has also been dry but growers have access to irrigation for the crops in the state.

    An abnormally cold air mass moved into the Great Plains and as far south as southern Mexico a few months ago.  The headlines featured the loss of infrastructure in Texas, but the cold could have injured crops.  Most affected would be the crops in southern Texas and northeastern Mexico.  It was cold enough to damage flowers in these areas and some of the foliage as well, but probably not cold enough for long enough to affect the trees.  Ideas are that the area affected by cold might have lost a little production.  These areas have also been dry so the flowers have been delayed and the production losses might not be that much.  Western Mexico and into California have also been dry.  Central and southern Mexico and Sao Paulo state in Brazil are all in good condition, although it remains dry in Sao Paulo.  Trees are not showing stress yet in Sao Paulo but might if the dry conditions continue.  That will affect the international market more than the US market for now.

    Demand is starting to shift away from FCOJ as people in the US get vaccines in arms.  Consumption from food operations is down a lot as no one is dining out very much.  Consumption at home is fading.  There are hopes that people can finally start to venture out a bit more and maybe even go to restaurants.  It’s an exciting prospect to many consumers who have been mostly locked at home for months.  The hope is that people will start to consume more FCOJ away from home and in the restaurants.  The big hope is that consumers will continue to consume more juice even with the end of the pandemic, but this is not guaranteed and is currently not the case as demand overall has been weaker.  Most likely there will be some who stay drinking juice, but many more who stop juice and drink other things or take pills for their vitamins and minerals.

     

     

    Florida weather has remained mostly good for crops.  Most areas have seen enough rain for good tree and fruit growth.  Total fruit production on the trees is less this year so there will be less production.  The next major weather event is coming and is the hurricane season.  Ideas are that the Atlantic season could be more active this year and this might be the next chance for a major rally in prices.  A big storm could hit the state and hurt the trees.  Fruit could drop from the trees too, but that will mostly affect fresh consumption.  The dropped fruit usually is collected and sent to processors, so a rally becomes counter intuitive in FCOJ.  A big hurricane often means more production of FCOJ even with less oranges due to the fruit drop scenario.  So, any rally caused byu a storm can be short lived as the rally will allow the processors favorable prices for hedging and the processors will take the good price.  That means that futures can spike higher, but almost immediately work back lower to absord the potentially increased FCOJ production at the expense of fresh consumption.

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 09 Mar
    Wellness – Feeding the mind

    Wellness – Feeding the mind

     

    New consumer research from Kerry reveals that mind-body beverage benefits will drive consumer demand

    New consumer research carried out by Kerry, the world’s leading taste and nutrition company, reveals that 65% of functional beverage consumers are more worried about their health since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The whitepaper, Understanding Consumer Drivers in Beverages, examines the key health priorities that will drive the functional beverage market with 2,662 beverage consumers across the UK, Germany, Poland and Spain surveyed as part of the research. When asked about the health concerns that have become more important since the emergence of COVID-19, 59% of respondents cited immunity while 50% said mental health is now a priority. The research has also indicated that consumers prefer beverages with natural ingredients however, there is a high level of acceptance for fortification with 39% of Europeans now placing more importance on fortification when it comes to their health.

    “We believe that the functional beverage category will gain traction as lifestyle consumers tune into an expected surge in new product launches with many targeting more holistic attitudes towards health, diet and lifestyle,” says Breda Kelly, Kerry’s Nutritional Beverage Lead for Europe and Russia.

    “Our consumer research shows that there is a growing demand for products that address a broad spectrum of health concerns, but in particular immunity and mental health support. While immune health is top of mind at the moment and is the most important health concern since the onset of the pandemic, younger age groups are worried about body-mind wellness and their mental health, meaning that there is an opportunity to create products to address these concerns.”

    Increasing consumer demand

    As the market for products with functional and nutritional benefits grows, there is increasing consumer demand for formats that meet the needs of different occasions and deliver ease and convenience of consumption. The research also found that just over half of all Europeans attach equal importance to taste and delivery of the benefit.

    The functional beverage market is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 6.0% through to 2025 as more consumers reach for beverages with added benefits. For manufacturers seeking to innovate in the beverage space, there are opportunities for different offerings such as functionality in hot drinks like tea and hot chocolate.

    “We think the opportunity to create iconic products is still ahead of us. Brands will need to communicate the key benefits of the products while also delivering on taste and texture. Consumers are willing to pay a premium for beverages with a functional benefit and will repurchase if that benefit is proven to work. This means that manufacturers need to use ingredients that are backed by science and trusted by consumers,” adds Breda.

    https://www.kerry.com/europe-en/Explore/Consumer-Drivers-in-Functional-Beverage  to download the whitepaper

    About Kerry

    Kerry, the Taste & Nutrition company, offers solutions that nourish lives all over the world. From humble beginnings as an Irish dairy co-operative, Kerry has grown into a large international food industry leader, with offices in 32 countries, 149 manufacturing facilities and more than 26,000 employees globally, including over 1,000 food scientists. We bring to the table our strong food heritage, coupled with over 40 years of experience, global insights and market knowledge, culinary and applications expertise, as well as a range of unique solutions that anticipate and address our customers’ needs.

     

     

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 09 Mar
    Fruit juice and the fitness industry

    Fruit juice and the fitness industry

     

    Duncan Lynch, Research Analyst, Zenith Global provides some insights for FJF readers

    Society as a whole is repeatedly being told to consume more fruit and vegetables. According to UK government figures in 2018, only 31% of adults and 8% of teenagers consumed the recommended five portions daily. Fruit juice, therefore, is a convenient way of squeezing in those extra portions.

    However, according to Zenith Global’s globaldrinks.com database, whilst on the whole demand for healthful beverages has been rising over the last five years, the total volume of fruit juice has been in steady decline in both North America and Western Europe with an increase in price propping up revenue totals.

    One might have thought that juice and physical fitness should go hand in hand, but amongst the fitness industry and fitness professionals, fruit juice has a mixed reputation and has done for several years.

    This, in part, has been driven by the health concerns surrounding fruit juice. Juices have a relatively high sugar content and calorific value. Even natural juices that boast the popular tagline ‘no added sugar’ contain a high amount of naturally occurring sugars. A pint of orange juice contains more calories than the equivalent volume of lemonade or lager. Another factor is the comparative lack of nutrients compared to fresh fruit.

    Despite the most common criticisms from the fitness industry, it has helped to drive innovation, allowing juice to play a role in helping people achieve their goals in muscle gain or fat loss. The fresh juice and smoothie bar industry grew nearly 7% between 2015 and 2018, driven by the rapid rise in the appearance of such outlets in close proximity to or within gyms and leisure centres. Whilst this growth in a more health-conscious society is likely to be dampened by Covid restrictions, Zenith Global expects to see these long-term trends of growth and popularity continuing amongst fresh juice.

    This increased demand comes, in part, from the variety and control it gives consumers. The fitness industry encourages consumers to track what they eat and drink and fresh juicing gives them greater control over their choices. They are also able to add protein powders, creatine and other supplements to tailor the juice to their individual needs. Furthermore, the concerns over the loss of nutrients in pre-packaged products are somewhat alleviated as the whole fruit is normally blended.

    Trying to compete with the juice and smoothie bar market, there has been an increase in the number of pre-packaged functional juices, promising enhanced performance with added vitamins and minerals from products such as chia and flax seeds. With the global functional beverage market expected to grow by more than 8% in 2021, one of the market leaders, Tropicana, relaunched its functional juice range in 2020. The brand now better highlights its benefits to consumers who want to live a healthy lifestyle. Whilst consumers lose some of the control compared to freshly made juices, they still gain many of the benefits with increased convenience.

    Consumers are also interested in trying new and innovative products, especially those which are reported to improve athletic performance. Tart cherry juice has increased in popularity over the last few years with endurance athletes in particular for this reason. The cherries contain a high concentration of anthocyanins renowned for their anti-inflammatory properties, but they are also shown to reduce muscle damage and fatigue and improve brain function, with sales forecast to increase further to 2025.

    Vegetable juices have long been overlooked for their taste but within the fitness industry especially they are increasing in popularity due to their high levels of minerals and vitamins and lower sugar levels. With improvements in technology and flavour profiles, the taste has been improved for many consumers. This is often achieved by mixing vegetables with a relatively small amount of sweet fruit juice, such as apple.

    Beetroot juice is one of the leaders within vegetable juices with the market expected to achieve small volume growth by 2025. Beetroot juice is packed with dietary nitrates which reduce the oxygen expended during exercise. Shots of rhubarb juice are being used by athletes to offer the same benefits as beetroot juice but removes the need for sweeteners.

    Zenith Global acknowledges the important role fruit juice still has to play in the fitness industry, but demands are changing. The increase in the popularity of vegetable juices and functional fruit juices and smoothies looks likely to continue. The products being used and promoted by elite athletes are likely to make their way into the mainstream market over the next few years as consumers try to improve their health and fitness, especially in the post-lockdown world we hope to be living in soon.

     

     

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 15 Jan
    Agroforestry in citrus – Mexico

    Agroforestry in citrus – Mexico

    A sustainable growth model for Yucatan orange juice, reports Remer Lane

    The citrus industry of Mexico has grown into the largest supplier of orange juice by value to the United States accounting for 48% of imports in 2019. While Brazil still holds the title of the largest supplier of orange juice to the global market, accounting for 36% of total supply by value, Mexico is growing fast and strategically positioned to continue to grow as the primary supplier to the US.

    This was not always the case and the growth in Mexican exports to the US has been at the cost of the Florida crop. Suffering from a variety of challenges, but primarily Huanglongbing (HLB) or Citrus Greening Disease, the Florida crop has dropped from a peak of 9.9 million tonnes to a current USDA crop forecast for the 2020-21 Season of 2.3 million tonnes, opening the door to Mexico’s 4.7 million tonne production to more than double its supply of Orange Juice by value between 2011 and 2019 from USD151 million to USD341 million.

    Mexico has not avoided HLB but has not suffered as much as Florida and in some regions, such as the Yucatan, there has been very little impact. While orange yields per hectare in the Yucatan are about 73% of Mexico’s 14.5 tonnes per hectare, there is one fascinating reason contributing to such a discrepancy (but it’s not just the heat). The only citrus processor in the Yucatan is Arpen Juice.

    Arpen (www.Arpen.mx) is a boutique juice processor whose special and particular clients greatly appreciate. They don’t just process orange, but also lime, lemon, tangerine, grapefruit, and uniquely bitter orange. Furthermore, they don’t own any farms and are supplied solely by Fairtrade certified smallholders who as a cooperative own a percentage of Arpen.

    Agroforestry approach

    What is unique about Arpen is the level of support to their farmers. Arpen is enabling an agroforestry model. While this approach slightly decreases the average yields per hectare, it offers distinctive advantages: regenerative agriculture; improved soil nutrition; reduced impact from climate change; biodiversity; improved wildlife habitat; reduced herbicide and pesticide use; improved quality; and a social impact of 10-months of farmer income through multi-cropping.

    What this approach and especially the biodiversity have provided is crop protection against issues such as HLB which while present is not causing any significant issues. Arpen is staking their operations on a sustainable-regenerative agroforestry model in coordination with reNature (www.renature.co) who are investing in the Citrus Agroforestry Education Center in Mexico. With additional coordination with Terra Group (www.terra.bz) , Arpen and the farmers are linked to a global network of agribusiness advisory, investors and technologies focused on improving agriculture production and the environment.

    Future prospects

    The future for Mexican orange and citrus juices is bright. The USDA reports a 5-Year compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) for Mexican FCOJ at 6% with a production CAGR of 5%. Global market share projections for Mexican FCOJ under HTS 200911, expect Mexico to grow from 12% market share in 2018 to an 18% market share by 2023, as prepared by Fingalee Analytics with the United States being the primary destination market.

    While the US and EU have experienced consumption contractions over the past few years, ResearchAndMarkets as reported in Business Wire projects global consumption to grow with an anticipated CAGR of +0.6% from 2018 to 2025 bringing total market volume to 2.5 million tonnes by the end of 2025.

    The key pressure points on the industry are sustainability, social impact, environmental impact, consumer preferences, and health concerns about sugar. The big turn-around bonus in times of COVID-19 has been the resurgence in demand for vitamin C and the health benefits attributed to the consumption of orange juice.

    The Yucatan is ahead in addressing sustainability and regenerative issues and is paying special attention to the Social Impact through diversified production of the Agroforestry model to move away from a commodity-based product to a more value-added impactful product. While many have lamented the fall of orange juice, the future looks promising for Mexico and with companies like Arpen and the efforts of farmers in the Yucatan, the consumption of orange juice will transition to being a premium beverage, prized by consumers.

    Remer Lane is an international investment banking consultant and serves as President for Fingalee Analytics and Terra Organics. He has spent the last 35-years working with the food and juice industries throughout the world from field production to processing to offering a product to the final consumer. Through COVID-19, he has continued to travel to Tanzania, Serbia and Mexico on behalf of his clients to assure continued operations and opportunities for increased profitability.

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 12 Jan
    Your comments – Outlook 2021 – COVID-19 and beyond

    Your comments – Outlook 2021 – COVID-19 and beyond

    As we finally hope to put 2020 behind us, we look forward to 2021 and beyond and the time when some normality may finally return to the way we interact and do business.  The effects of COVID-19 will be with us for a while to come, here’s how YOU are getting ready for the year ahead.

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    Andrii Humenchuk, Global Sales Director, Sambor, Poland

    “COVID-19 affected the HORECA/cinemas/cruises/airlines businesses most badly, which, I think, resulted in at least 40% decrease in consumption of apple juice concentrate globally. Even with several big players not producing AJC due to different reasons this season the prices were stable, which proves the demand to go down significantly.

    “On the other hand, many bottlers in Germany, as the biggest AJC consumer in the EU, are family-owned businesses, and they are suffering most, as HORECA is their highest margin segment. Hence, they were either buying small volumes of AJC at the lowest price available, or not buying at all.

    “The apple crop in the EU was relatively good, and we might expect some volumes of high quality raw material to be released from cold storages for processing quite soon, as the farmers’ expectations for high prices of apples for the fresh market are not coming true. In summer 2020 the prices were reaching 3 PLN to compare with 1 PLN at the moment.

    “To sum up, the EU AJC market will be flat, with prices around 1.05-1.15 euro/kg FCA Poland in bulk. For Apple NFC the EU market demand looks much better. With enough raw material and steady production in winter-spring 2021 we expect the prices at 0.2-0.25 euro/kg FCA Poland in bulk.”

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    Annick Casier, President of Odyssey FoodTrans, USA

    Pandemic crisis observations: “2020 marked a year of significant ‘catch-up’ technology adoption for many in the global food supply chain. In the early stages of the pandemic, for example, many companies had to find new ways to navigate supply chain disruptions and volatility. As a result, we saw an increased need for high impact tracking and tracing technologies, which provided our fruit juice and bulk liquid food customers with the additional visibility they needed. This technology (and the humans behind it) gave companies across the globe access to proactive communications and much needed peace-of-mind as they sought to adapt to fluctuating consumer demand over the last year. “

    Outlook 2021: “Supply chains will continue to globalize. But in a market that heavily relies on tight turnaround times and reducing costs, customers will need to adopt new technologies and smarter shipping methods to retain their competitive advantage and improve efficiencies wherever possible. For example, we expect to see growth in the use of refrigerated and aseptic ISO tanks – which allow for improved product safety and quality during transport and eliminate the need for additional processes and containers that slow down shipping times and increase cost. An aseptic transportation process can eliminate the need for multiple safety steps at destination, such as double pasteurization, which can alter flavour and colour. It offers the flexibility to transport by road, rail and sea—creating an end-to-end supply chain solution that simplifies shipping tasks from a customer perspective.

    We also expect to see increased access to sensitive product categories in geographic regions that previously had limited aseptic resources. Traditionally, the food and beverage market in areas with limited aseptic resources have relied on conventional packaging such as drums, bags or totes. The introduction of an aseptic ISO tank fleet can help deliver new cost savings and increase productivity, while also improving product quality. Moreover, the shift to intermodal tanks will support sustainability efforts, as intermodal tanks are stackable, reusable and have a smaller carbon footprint. Costa Rica is one example of a blossoming geographic region that Odyssey FoodTrans aims to supply with much-needed, advanced aseptic supply chain capacity, as its role in the food and beverage industry continues to expand.”

    Brexit: “We are all poised to see how Brexit will affect the juice industry and our bulk, food-grade liquid logistics business. A recent piece in the press warned of a shortage in citrus and exotic fruits (among other produce) because of the border disruptions between France and the UK. This illustrates the many unanswered questions we in the food supply chain industry have and leave us looking for creative solutions to the new cross-border issues that now exist. However, one thing we expect to see is an increased access to European-based storage facilities with a goal of improving just-in-time delivery across the continent.”

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    Tamar Klein, Kibbutz Gan Shmuel, Trisun, Israel

     “We were concerned that the coronavirus crisis, which led many industries and businesses to a significant slowdown in activity, will hit even harder the beverage industry due to lower consumption of juices in the private sector and significant slowdown in businesses such as restaurants, food preparation, tourism businesses and other related businesses.

    “In reality, it seems that this scenario did not happen in the beverage industry, on the contrary. Trisun experienced an increase in sales, and a demand for NFC (Not from concentrate) and JC (Juice Concentrate) of orange, lemon, Grapefruit, Berries, Carrots and others. In our view, the pandemic has led to the phenomenon of consumers returning to the consumption of fruit juices and beverages that are perceived as contributing to health, due to their natural nutrients such as vitamin C.

    “We have also witnessed an increase trend in the demand for citrus oils and by-products which can be also attributed to this trend. We anticipate that this trend will continue in 2021, even after the pandemic is eradicated. We hope and tend to believe that the market demand for fruit juices will continue to rise, as natural beverages become more and more a part of the daily routine of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition. This increase in final products will of course lead to a further increase in demand for NFC/JC products.”

    – – – – – – – –

    Mateusz Świętanowski, Concentrates, IQF & Puree Sales Manager, Quadrum Foods, Poland

    “In my personal opinion, making any predictions at this time is like playing roulette.

    Even before 2020 started, precise forecasts were rather scarce.  Now adding the new global pandemic into equation as an additional factor for consumer behaviour, makes I believe, any forecasting a guess at best.”

     

    – – – – – – – –

    Claudio Di Genova, Commercial Manager, SA Veracruz, Argentina

    “2021 will be a difficult year for Lemons in Argentina, as a long drought during 2020 is affecting productivity. Estimations talk about 40% reduction in next Lemon crop 2021.We hope prices rise and accompany high costs that are expected for the fruit.

    “Of course, this will also depend on the context of COVID-19 and the recovery of global economy.

    “We hope vaccines are the light at the end of the tunnel, and hotels, restaurants, bars, coffee shops opening and helping consumption for every product.”

    – – – – – – – –

    Anton Reinecke, Managing Director, Ceres Fruit Processors (Pty), South Africa

    “Like most people I expect the direct effect to be with us until well into the second half of 2021. South Africa’s latest lockdown variant includes an alcohol ban. However, the duration of this is quite short – only 3 weeks. So we are hoping for a muted effect. None of our immediate shipments to cider brewers have been affected, but this is only to one customer at this point.”

    – – – – – – – –

    David Ferreira, Head Brazil Operations, The Orange Continent Ltda

    “I think it looks like 2021 will be a promising year because people are looking for nutritional and functional products to help protect health. However, despite the pandemic and all the economic questions, uncertainty will continue flying over us ‘like a ghost’. For me, we cannot forget about the climate question that affects all planet.

    “Sustainability is key – juice, natural juices (concentrated or not) fruit or vegetable based products, are produced under sun, rain, and over ground. So, the climate question must be a priority with low gas emissions so we can produce food as sustainably and environmentally as possible.

    “Looking back at 2020 Brazil (São Paulo State), experienced the worst season on citrus. Low quantity oranges, the consequence of long drought periods and associated highest temperatures. The  blooming disappeared, fruits dropped, and remaining fruit on trees presented inconsistencies never observed in recent times, like very high brix (soluble solids) against lowest ratio (high acidity).  Climate is the biggest challenge for me and to growers, because these are things that cannot be managed. Governments around world must now align to protect the planet. Water, ground, air, forests – these are indispensables to our survival.

    “I think markets will buy juice products, more particularly those with full traceability and assurance in order to build the assurance of quality, health-giving products they can trust.  Clients don’t buy products and services, they buy this ‘trust’ and they demand ‘quality.’

    “I believe investment in science and technology will be important going forward to help us produce safe, high quality products and at low cost to make these health-giving products accessible to all.”

    – – – – – – – –

    Steve Hutchinson, Island Magic Pte. Fiji

    “During 2020 we have seen a big upturn in the cold pressed juicing space in the USA. Our current clients are all predicting 2021 to be a real growth year within this space. The beverage and juicing space is definitely our biggest sector right now with a couple of clients buying double the amount of organic turmeric that they were this time last year. “

    – – – – – – – –

    Steve Cockram, General Manager, Growers Co-op Grape Juice Co. USA

    “We have all have been forced into a very different world, and right now demand for juice is actually increasing.  Now that it seems that the food and transportation industries have been deemed to be essential, so we can stay open.  The big short term fear is the health of our employees.  One sickness and we may be shut down for a couple weeks.  Long term, we wonder how to do harvest if COVID is raging in our area.  Farmers will have the same issues as processors in getting healthy people to stay in operation.  The northern hemisphere wants to see how the southern hemisphere is dealing with it now.  That said our federal government is throwing forgivable loans to small businesses, so that will be a nice financial boost, if it comes to pass.”

    – – – – – – – –

    Carol Plisga, Independent Juice Consultant, USA

    “As an independent food and beverage consultant based in the US, I expect 2021 to be a gradual improvement for the juice industry.  Immunity will continue to be the driver for juice innovation.  However, I also believe consumers will be a bit more cost conscious until the economy shows sustained growth and employment levels get back to pre-pandemic levels.  Food service beverage will continue to be a struggle due to dining and travel restrictions.  I foresee Q1 and Q2 of 2021 to be a rising curve for the juice industry so that by Q3, we are surpassing benchmarks we had set prior to COVID.  We need to remain cautious but focused on new channels for growth.

    “The key word I have for juice producers is ‘Agile’ – to be agile is going to be key in 2021 and beyond, to be ready for whatever challenges we are faced with.”

    – – – – – – – –

    Nicole Loomis, Business Development Director, Juice Bar Outfitter, Jupiter FL, USA

    “I would love to talk about the juice industry and the pandemic. I think it is a bright light and source of hope in a year filled with sadness. While speaking with a supermarket chain early on in the pandemic, they told me nothing was off the table anymore. I think that summed up 2020 well, we had all been accustomed to our schedules, attending tradeshows, performing demonstrations, attending meetings, predicting trends and suddenly it had flipped.  As we are facing 2021 with many uncertainties we have a toolbox complete with lessons learned in 2020. I have witnessed our supermarkets, restaurants, and juice bars pivot and serve their customers well, meeting their demands, initiating online shopping, starting new cleaning requirements, training employees, and doing whatever they can to keep supplying fresh healthy food and keep employees and customers safe. Consumers made huge leaps moving to online shopping, and boosting immunity became a top priority.

    “Prior to the pandemic orange juice consumption was struggling a bit. We are based in Florida, the Sunshine State, and home to delicious juicing oranges and so we are happy to see orange juice is now back in the top position as an amazing source of Vitamin C. Fresh squeezed juice is the best way to take full advantage of the enzymes and the delicious taste made it a beverage in high demand that I see continuing into 2021.

    “I predict you will see a lot more demand for fresh juices. In Europe, some supermarkets are creating a juice wall or juice corner – dedicating a portion of the produce department with multiple Zumex Juicers ready to meet the demand of the consumers who want fresh-squeezed citrus juice. I think that trend will continue here in the US as more supermarkets bring back customers into the stores and welcome them with vibrant produce departments and fresh juice.

    “Another trend we saw last year that will surely continue is the growth of wellness shots, combining lemon juice, ginger juice and other fresh juices like pineapple for a quick vitamin rush.  Consumers are also looking to add in daily green juices and smoothies to increase their vitamins and minerals. They do not want any added sugar and our customers are responding by providing fresh juice on-demand with our Zumex Multifruit Juicer or Nutrifaster and Cold Pressed juice in bottles with the Zumex Mastery cold press juicer. We primarily sell commercial juicers but even our smaller tabletop commercial Santos citrus juicers have seen a jump in interest from home users looking to bring fresh citrus to their tables. The message is fresh is best.

    “I think there will be a continued demand for simple, authentic, and trusted drinks like orange juice as well as proven immunity boosting juices that also taste good. I think it is an opportunity to share information with the consumers about health benefits of the produce, working with the farms and produce suppliers to bring value to the consumers and show a strong commitment to helping them stay healthy. 2021 will be a year of rebuilding, I think a strong demand for fresh juice is definitely one trend that is here to stay. “

    “I am very grateful to work in the fresh juice industry because I get to be a part of bringing the tools to the supermarkets, farmer’s markets, hospitals, hotels and juice bars to transform farm-fresh produce into juices and smoothies that will help people stay healthy with strong immune systems. I see 2021 as a strong year for juice. 2021 will be a year to come together and lift each other up, fresh produce, fresh juice and healthy drinks will be a uniting bright light of hope and comfort. Together we will educate, and celebrate the resiliency of so many.”

    – – – – – – – –

    Maxim McDonald, Director, Gerald McDonald, UK

    “Regarding Yuzu Juice we don’t see any let-up in increasing demand for this Japanese citrus. Especially with the Tokyo Olympics (still scheduled) this July.

    “Regarding Brexit it’s too soon to say, aside from extra import/export paperwork and costs, we will need to compare what Britain achieves in trade deals outside the EU to what we had inside it, to see if it was all worth it.”

    – – – – – – – –

    Josep Lay, Managing Director of PT Great Giant Pineapple, Indonesia

    “From our record and observations, for pineapple juice concentrate, in our case overall 2020 delivery showed some improvement compared to previous year, especially during 2nd semester. A combination of reduced inventories at customers (bottler, blending), and notable supply dropped from Thailand (main producing country) and favourable consumption from retail segment could be among the reasons.

    “We also noticed the upturn on juice sales especially on retail segment as it indicates that during pandemic people learn and choose healthier food and drinks which are more beneficial to their health.

    “We also hope this pandemic will bring long-term awareness for the young generation in their choices over healthier food and drink, since we have been living with this pandemic for quite a long time, so their healthy choices will become their new habits.

    “Our concern for 2021 is how soon the food service sector will recover. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the foodservice sector has been badly hit due to various lock downs, implementation of health protocols & social distancing and restricted operating hours. The recent lockdowns in various countries across Europe and the new strain of COVID-19 virus which is more contagious might prolong this sector from recovering.

    “The rolled out plan of COVID-19 vaccination in many countries has certainly brought some hope and positive news for 2021. Although this might take months to implement, it already helped bringing more optimism into the market.  We hope the foodservice sector will start recovering steadily during 2021 and sales from retail sector will continue to show positive result therefore overall juice consumption in 2021 will be better than 2020.

    “Another challenge that many experienced toward the end of 2020 was the shortage in equipment (empty container) and vessel space, which made the freight cost to surge considerably. Reduced economic activities and implementation of health protocols due to COVID-19, which limit number of active workers, to some extend has slowed down the speed of cargo movement at ports.

    “Furthermore economic slowdown has caused many containers sitting at ports at much longer time than usual. Estimation from some shipping lines, this situation will remain until March/April 2021.

    “In regards with UK and the Brexit deal, we have been in discussion with our UK partners on the changes and so far we have not seen any major impact yet. We do hope that as the UK becomes more independent in their decisions over tariffs, quotas and other regulations, they will advocate more attractive terms for business, especially in fruit juice sector.”

    – – – – – – – –

    Kristof Blomme, Director, Granada Juice, Spain

    “I can give you my views a young start-up and small player in this field: our sales of pure pomegranate juice are going smoothly here in Southern Spain so far. People like the functional properties of pomegranate and believe benefits can be achieved as an immune-booster to prevent or to fight COVID-19. 2021 will more or less be the same as last year due to pandemic, I believe. However the future will be more positive, once we get back to pre-pandemic travel condition. Our region is very dependent on international tourism, for which Brexit will have indirectly some negative influence.”

    – – – – – – – –

    Stefan Reiß, Managing Director, Green Coco Europe GmbH, Germany

    “2020 was quite challenging in terms of supply chain interruptions for coconut water in quarter 2. This hit the market again even harder in quarter 4 and is still continuing. We expect a very challenging first half of 2021 due to limited crop, production and sea freight capacities.

    “Coconut water has not shown any unforeseen increase in sales due to Covid 19 in the EU. The business was has been stable like as always. We decided in quarter 3 to stop our UK business and to focus on the European continent due to the uncertainties and higher (logistic) costs evolved.”

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 12 Jan
    PET packaging latest

    PET packaging latest

    Multi-talented – solution providers for customers along the entire value chain

    Last year, Gropper celebrated its 90th anniversary. The company has grown considerably since its founding: the cheese maker is now a mid-sized enterprise producing private-label dairy products, not-from-concentrate (NFC) juices, smoothies, and bottled water for customers across Europe.

    In addition to milk, Gropper produces juice, smoothies, and bottled water. The company’s spirit of innovation is strong: “When it comes to product development, we are more like a brand manufacturer than a private-label supplier,” says Karl Klein, Managing Director Production and Technology at Gropper. “We don’t wait for our customers to come to us. We approach them proactively with new ideas.” As a result, Gropper has been successfully making organic products for supermarket chains since 2006.

    That same year, the company surprised its customers by suggesting they bring smoothies to the German market – long before many of the major brands. In 2009, Gropper began producing NFC juices in PET containers for grocery discounters. “Our latest coup is our own organic mineral water brand, rieser Urwasser. It has given our dairy a foot in the door to one of Germany’s biggest grocery discounters,” Klein says with an unmistakable touch of pride.

    Clear expectations

    Krones became familiar with Gropper’s untiring pursuit of innovation and willingness to take risks back in 2004, when the dairy decided to move into PET packaging. “PET containers make the product visible,” explains Karl Klein. “Bottles made of PET plastic are also very lightweight, fully re-sealable, and hygienically perfect.”

    The company had very specific ideas about how its first PET line should be equipped. They wanted to use a two-colour filler with dry-aseptic technology. “It’s the standard in the dairy industry. All of our cup fillers work on that principle. So it was clear that our PET containers and caps would also have to be sanitized in this way,” says Karl Klein.

    Since Krones didn’t have that type of filler in its portfolio at the time, the Neutraubling-based company delivered just a Contiform stretch blow-molder and a two-color sleeve labeler that was designed especially for Gropper.

    But Krones’ filling technology experts had taken the customer’s idea as inspiration and developed a four-colour filler that uses gaseous hydrogen peroxide to sterilize the containers and caps. And their efforts paid off. In 2005, when Gropper was considering its next investment in a PET line, the company chose this newly developed filler from Krones. “It was still just a prototype – so of course, there were some ups and downs,” recalls Burgmeier.

    “When we were looking to add yet another line in 2012, we weighed very carefully whether we should go with Krones again. In the end, though, we realized that Krones had continually improved its dry-aseptic process in the meantime – and so we did. Right now, nobody else on the market can build a dry-aseptic PET line at the same level of quality and reliability.”

    Championing dry aseptics

    Today, PET containers account for about 40% of Gropper’s total production volume. The success of PET packaging is also reflected in the dairy’s capital expenditure. In 2015, the company decided to significantly increase its capacity for producing in PET containers and launched a wave of investment. That same year, Gropper opened a second plant in Stockach, near Lake Constance, which was followed in 2018 by a plant in Moers as part of a joint venture with Dr. Oetker. Two PET lines from Krones are now in operation at each location. In addition, the Bissingen plant also got two new lines, in 2018 and 2019.

    Both lines once again feature a PET-Asept D system from Krones, each with a rated capacity of 18,000 1.0-litre containers per hour. This aseptic filler-capper block processes not only milk, dairy drinks, and whipping cream but also coffee beverages, NFC juices, smoothies, and water. The latest filler generation gives Gropper the utmost flexibility in container choice.

    On earlier models, changing bottle shape meant replacing handling parts. Today, all container types can be processed with a single set of handling parts. Because the clean room no longer has to be opened, cleaning times are also shorter – and the line’s performance has increased by around 25% compared with earlier models.

     

    With the PET-Asept D, Gropper has once again consciously chosen to keep the filler and the blow-molder separate. One reason is to clearly segregate packaging material storage from the hygienic space around the filler. Preforms and packaging materials are fed into the lines from a central location at the front end of the bottling hall – and for that reason, the Contifeed preform feed system, the Contiform 3 Pro stretch blow-molders, and the packer are all sited in this part of the hall. The filler stands at the opposite end of the hall. An AirCo air conveyor transfers the molded PET containers along the 60-meter (nearly 200-foot) stretch between the two areas. “The air conveyor also serves as a buffer. Especially when working with higher-viscosity products, we can run slow filling without impacting the thermal process in the blow molder,” explains Burgmeier. Klein chuckles, adding, “At Gropper, we’re obsessed with buffers because our experience has been that block set-ups often result in efficiency losses. We really notice that when one of our buffer towers goes down and has to be bypassed. Efficiency immediately drops by four or five percent.”

    Clear favorite for labelling

    As a private-label producer, Gropper makes countless different products and brands. In order to meet its customers’ demands, the company has to be able to offer all labeling options. Therefore, both of the new lines include a Solomodul, each of which has two docking stations for wrap-around, pre-cut, and lid labeling stations. The set-up can also accommodate integration of two Autocol labeling stations for self-adhesive labels if needed. If Gropper needs to handle special-shaped bottles on the new lines, a Sleevematic can do the labeling. “We change labels at least five or six times a day. We chose a modular labeler to keep time losses to a minimum,” says Burgmeier.

    Gropper has trusted Krones labeling technology ever since they installed their first PET line – and for good reason, as Karl Klein explains: “When it comes to labeling, we’ve never gone with anyone but Krones. Their roots are in labeling and I have the greatest trust in them.” To date, Gropper has also exclusively chosen Krones Contiform stretch blow-molders for bottle production.

    Direct access is a major advantage

    The collaboration on PET plastic packaging is just one more milestone in the two companies’ long partnership. “Krones has been a dependable partner to Gropper for more than 30 years. Even though the group has grown to be quite large, we know that we will always have a contact person there who can answer our questions and help solve any problems that arise,” says Burgmeier. Klein adds: “Since the majority of our products are chilled foods, we have to operate 24/7 filling specific orders. Line uptime is essential. Of course, you’ll have an occasional downtime or need a spare part at short notice. At those times, it’s important to have a supplier who will deliver service or spare parts quickly and dependably. Our close proximity to Krones’ headquarters is also a major advantage.”

    “Each time we come up with a new project, we have very specific ideas and expectations. Krones listens carefully, takes on our challenges, and does everything in their power to make our expectations reality.”

    By Caroline Calder Features
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