• 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
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