The strong nutritional profile and functional benefits of cherry juice create exciting opportunities for manufacturers who could position it for sports and health nutrition and highlight the potential to help with insomnia, says a study published in the American Journal of Therapeutics.
Tart cherry juice contains high levels of vitamins A, C, K, potassium and iron, as well as various antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. This has seen the product linked with a range of health benefits from aiding muscle recovery post-exercise to alleviating insomnia and protecting against heart disease. These credentials should be attractive to manufacturers as they look to respond to changing perceptions around the healthiness of juice, which have contributed to sales declines across markets. However, less than 1% of global juice launches utilized cherry as a flavour component in the 12 months to July 2018, highlighting untapped potential for brands to experiment with the ingredient.
Cherry juice has gained attention in recent years as a sports recovery drink and has been adopted by runners and other athletes for its purported anti-inflammatory benefits. Research conducted at the Oregon Health & Science University suggests that tart cherry juice reduces both muscle pain and inflammation, and may be a safer way to treat post-exercise pain than over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen. This has led to the emergence of a number of specialist sports-focused brands offering tart cherry juice at retail. www.mintel.com