The juice industry is losing market share to waters due to higher calorific values, acidity and price. How can vegetable juices turn this negative trend? Harry Zwart finds out.
Vegetable juice concentrates can make a valuable contribution when facing these key issues:
In general, vegetable juice contains approximately 30% less calories than fruit juice. For example, a 200ml glass of orange juice contains 92 calories as opposed to 62 calories in a glass of carrot juice. Combining fruit and vegetable juices can provide a full-bodied taste and a content of 100% fruits and vegetables, but with fewer calories, which fits well in a calorie-reduced diet.
Consumer reports have shown that certain consumers prefer not to drink 100% fruit juice because of its acidity. As vegetable juice contains less acid, blending a fruit juice with a vegetable juice will reduce the overall acid level of the blend, with less impact on teeth and reflux.
Retailers are putting pressure on overall price levels and rarely allow price increases. Also, price fluctuations of certain fruits have led to de-listings. To regain this volume and defend market share, a lower and more stable price is important.
At SVZ International, we grow all of our vegetables under contract with farmers with stabilised prices, so it’s possible to have a fixed price for a longer period. It’s beneficial to already know the contract price at an early stage without unpleasant surprises afterwards. Vegetable prices are on average also lower than a lot of fruits, which will lead to a lower blend price for fruit and vegetable juices.
Convenience, health aspects and sustainability
Many consumers have difficulties reaching the required daily intake (RDI) level for vegetables. Drinking a blend of fruit and vegetable juices can help to reach that RDI. The blend can be one of the required ‘five a day’.
Vegetables are perceived as healthy by people all over the world. This healthy image is based on functionalities such as the fibre content and specific bioactive ingredients, for example:
- Red beet – rich in folic acid and betaine, which may have positive effects on reducing fat accumulation, as well as the immune system and stamina.
- Carrot – contains higher amounts of carotenoids, which are linked to possible positive effects against heart diseases and cancer. The high vitamin A content is related to cholesterol reduction.
- Spinach – contains vitamin A, but also glucosinolates and lutein, which are all linked to possible positive effects against heart disease and cancer.
Vegetables also have a vitamin pattern that’s different from fruit. Where fruits are mostly known for their vitamin C content, vegetables also contain other vitamins such as A, B and K.
Sustainability and corporate social responsibility
Food production is contributing to the carbon dioxide emission and therefore a reduced carbon footprint is highly appreciated. In general, vegetables can be grown in any location, and SVZ has chosen to grow all the vegetables in the surroundings of its juice processing plants in Poland and the US.
The few kilometres between the growing area and the production plant guarantee fresh raw materials and a minimum CO2 emission per kilogram end product. Most vegetables are grown under Agronomical Frameworks, as this comes with contract growing and offers security to the farmers. Within this, the use of pesticides is prescribed as well as controlled. The result is a correct, minimal dosage of pesticides, which is beneficial not only to the environment, but also to the farmer and the consumer.
Vegetable juices offer exciting marketing opportunities through new taste combinations and in promoting various aspects of health and sustainability.
Harry Zwart is product group manager vegetables & organics for SVZ International.