Juice is among the surviving categories of the COVID-19 crisis. According to a December 2020 survey by GlobalData, 47% of global consumers are buying the same amount of juice and squash as before the pandemic, 12% are buying slightly more, and 9% are buying significantly more or stockpiling these products.

Due to the pandemic, consumers have become increasingly concerned about their health. This could be the reason behind the juice category’s success in maintaining its appeal during the crisis. Immunity boosting has become a top priority for shoppers, meaning healthy, functional juice products containing nutrient-rich ingredients will likely stand out on the shelves and maintain a good positioning for the foreseeable future.

According to GlobalData, health & wellness is a key theme in the juice category. Examples of innovative product launches in this space include Morinaga Sunkist Super Grape juice, in Japan. Made with 100% ripe red grapes, this product is said to contain “juice-derived polyphenols.” Polyphenols are believed to support the treatment of weight-management difficulties, digestion issues, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. In the US, meanwhile, Sofresco offers an Activated Charcoal fruit drink shot, which contains added vegetable charcoal. The infusion of activated charcoal may appeal to the 35% of US consumers who think that charcoal will have a positive impact on their health, notably higher than the global average at just one quarter (24%). In Spain, Solevita has released an Organic Ginger Shot drink, claimed to contain 100% pure-pressed juice from organic apple, ginger, and lemon. The beverage is available in a small can format, meaning it could provide consumers with a nutritious, on-the-go energy boost.

GlobalData’s research suggests that, while out-of-home juice consumption is likely to have fallen significantly due to lockdown restrictions, at-home consumption has remained steady. This may be because some people see juice consumption as a way of boosting their immune system with vitamins and protecting themselves from the virus, all in a convenient format.

The pandemic could provide some brands with an ideal opportunity to strengthen their positioning and reinvent their drinks as ‘must-haves’, rather than products bought only for specific occasions. Fruit juices’ health and functional benefits align well with modern consumers’ needs, meaning there is a huge opportunity for the category to grow in the long term and maintain its momentum in the post-pandemic era.

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