Sambazon: Consumers want juice, but they don’t want the calories
By Elaine Watson
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Another beverage brand addressing the juice/sugar conundrum was Sambazon - which is widely credited with turning the Amazonian superfruit açai into a household name in the US – and is still notching up strong double-digit growth well over a decade after launch.
New at the booth at Expo West was Sambazon 100, a range of organic and Non-GMO Project verified juices with 100 calories or fewer per 10.5oz bottle, which are sweetened with stevia and erythritol (instead of agave – which is added to Sambazon original acai juice as the berries themselves as almost sugar-free).
While much of the growth in an otherwise sluggish fruit juice market is being driven by super-premium HPP (high pressure processed) juices, many of these products have just as much sugar as the mainstream counterparts that consumers are increasingly rejecting, in part owing to concerns about sugar and calories, Sambazon founder and CEO Ryan Black told FoodNavigator-USA.
“These HPP juices are doing better than Naked and Odwalla, but we could see this growth slow when consumers start to realize they have the same amount of sugar. Most people don’t know that açaí is one of the only fruits in the world with virtually zero naturally-occurring sugar, so we are in a good starting position to address this trend towards lighter juice drinks.”