12th January 2021

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.”

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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.”


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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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. “

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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 Share: