Sugar reduction efforts & demand for functional benefits will drive vegetable juice sales in 2017

Source: iStock

Vegetables will shine as a rising star in the juice industry in 2017 as consumers look for ways to reduce sugar and increase functional benefits, predicts a top executive working with the international juice maker Biotta.

As consumers become more health conscious they are looking “for all natural ways to address health conditions, rather than having to depend on expensive, chemical-laden prescription medications or unregulated supplements,” and for many that means turning to organic, non-GMO, natural juices that are free of artificial additives and which offer functional benefits, Matt Herzog, president of Biotta’s US distributor, told FoodNavigator-USA.

“Most recently,” he added, “consumers have become more interested in vegetable juices, which offer a multitude of functional benefits.”

For example, Biotta claims its beet juice is “ideal for blood pressure and brain” health. On its website, it links to articles and studies showing how drinking beet juice can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of fatal stroke, as well as reduce cognitive decline by increasing the blood flow to certain parts of the brain.

Likewise, it says, the high vitamin A in its carrot juice promotes healthy eye function and its antioxidants can benefit the immune system and cardiovascular health.

Biotta also claims its “purifying” celery root juice stimulates digestion “thanks to the natural lactic acid that inhibits growth of undesired intestinal bacteria and encourages growth of good bacteria.”

The popularity of vegetable juice also will grow because vegetables are “naturally sweet,” but have less natural sugar than many fruit juices and do not contain any added sugar, Herzog said.

“This is becoming more appealing to consumers for a variety of reasons. First, they are trying to reduce their overall sugar consumption, paying more attention to the ingredients on packaged goods, and looking for hidden sources of added sugar,” Herzog said.

He noted the new FDA labeling requirements that products break out added sugars from naturally occurring sugar should help boost all juice sales given 100% juice will not have added sugars.

As consumers cut back on all types of sugar, “they are finding the less sweet vegetable juices more palatable,” which will advance further the trends toward veggie-based juice, Herzog said.

Trend data from Tetra Pak reinforces Herzog’s prediction by revealing new product launches with vegetable juices tripled from 2012 to 2015 and captured 3% of the fragmented juice flavor market. 

Finally, Herzog predicts vegetable juices will continue to grow in coming years because Americans increasingly realize they are not consuming enough vegetables and juice offers and convenient way to boost their intake.

To help meet this demand, Biotta will “continue adding new juice and new flavors to bring the great taste and health benefits of Biotta juices to new consumers,” Herzog said. 

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