According to Mintel, two in three (60%) of parents with kids aged 12-17 and 55% of parents with kids aged 18+ in the household report saying “no” to their kids’ food and drink choices based on sugar content, Mintel research showed.
While sugar is at the top of parents’ watch list when it comes to what their kids eat and drink just 11% of new product introduction aimed at children between June 2017 – May 2018 had a low, no, or reduced sugar claim, according to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD).
Juicy Juice, the 41-year-old brand started by Harvest Hill Beverage Company, has evolved to meet this market need with a growing offering of low-sugar products, such as its recently launched Juicy Juice Splashers Organic with 9 grams of sugar per serving (compared to classic Juicy Juice with up to 27 grams of sugar per serving depending on the flavor).
The lower-sugar organic juice offering is made with organic fruit juice from concentrate, filtered water, ascorbic acid, citric acid, natural favors, and a fruit “essence”.
“There are always opportunities for growth, which for us include new products, like the introduction of the lower-sugar Juicy Juice Splashers Organic,” Chief marketing officer of Harvest Hill Beverage Company, Ilene Bergenfeld, told FoodNavigator-USA.
Juicy Juice Splashers Organic come in three flavors – fruit punch, berry lemonade, and tropical twist – packaged in single-serve, six-ounce pouches that will be available at major grocery chains nationwide.
“With Juicy Juice Splashers Organic… we’ve been able to address moms’ concerns about sugar, without compromising on flavors kids love,” Bergenfeld added.
“While kids are becoming more informed about health and nutrition, moms are still the gatekeepers so it’s important for us to put key nutritional and ingredient information front and center on our labels and website, helping moms make sound, well-informed choices for their families.”
Competing in struggling juice category
Once under the Nestle umbrella, the Juicy Juice brand was sold to private equity firm Brynwood Partners in 2014 after years of reported declining sales reflective the overall category, which is expected to decline 7% in the 2016 -2021 period, according to Mintel.
Bergenfeld said that the Juicy Juice brand has managed to grow within the struggling juice category due to its expanded portfolio of better-for-you options.
“The Juicy Juice brand has grown over the past several years, despite dips in the category, and remains strong because of our full product portfolio with options for many family lifestyles,” Bergenfeld told FoodNavigator-USA.
Juicy Juice has keyed on some of the main opportunities for growth in the juice category such as the callout of ‘added sugar’ on products (mandated under the revised Nutrition Facts Labeling rule) and organic offerings.
“All of our products contain no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial sweeteners and no added sugar,” Bergenfeld said.
The brand’s move into USDA-organic certified products has also helped its reach a more health-conscious audience, particularly millennial parents.
A recent Organic Trade Association survey found that millennial parents are currently the largest segment of organic shoppers in the US. With 80% of the generation expected to become parents in the next 10 to 15 years, organic product offerings are likely to grow as more millennials look for clean options for kids.
“We continue to evolve our offerings for today’s families, but remain focused on reaching millennial parents, many of whom grew up with the brand and are now serving it to their own kids,” Bergenfeld added.
How do you feel about giving juice to your kids? Are brands meeting your needs as a parent? These questions and more will be expanded on in a lively parents panel kicking off FoodNavigator-USA's FOOD FOR KIDS summit on Nov. 12- Nov. 14 in Chicago. It’s the perfect opportunity to contribute your thoughts on kids nutrition and options at the store.