Frutly ‘teen’ beverage fills white space in ambient juice category, says PepsiCo

By Elaine Watson contact

- Last updated on GMT

PepsiCo: "We found that the current category does not have offerings for teens who have outgrown the juice boxes and pouches of their childhood and are now seeking products that better fit their adult life..."Image credit: PepsiCo
PepsiCo: "We found that the current category does not have offerings for teens who have outgrown the juice boxes and pouches of their childhood and are now seeking products that better fit their adult life..."Image credit: PepsiCo

Related tags: Pepsico

While there are plenty of beverages targeting young children, with recent launches from Kraft Heinz (Creative Roots) and Nestlé (Fruity Water) offering low or no-sugar options, there is a gap in the market for teens, claims PepsiCo, which says new launch Frutly fills “a white space in the ambient juice aisle.”

Available in Strawberry Kiwi, Fruit Punch and Apple Grape flavors, Frutly​ is made with water, fruit juice concentrates, electrolytes, and natural flavors, and contains 60-calories per 12 oz bottle, 15g naturally occurring sugar from the juice, and 20% of the DV for vitamin C and E. To place this in context, 12oz of Tropicana 100% orange juice contains 34g sugar.

While parents are paying attention to sugar, said Samantha Siegal, senior director of ambient juice marketing at PepsiCo, they are also looking for “beverages that their kids will drink and think tastes great, while also offering the functional factors they as parents care about, like hydration and nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.

“We’ve found that the primary factors that influence parent choice in the shelf stable juice category are taste (77%) and flavor (69%) followed by no added sugar (49%), no artificial sweeteners (48%) and flavorful hydration (44%).”

The category does not cater for ‘teens who have outgrown the juice boxes and pouches of their childhood’

So what’s the rationale for entering the ‘teen’ beverage space in the first place?

Extensive qualitative and quantitative consumer research”​ identified a clear “white space in the ambient juice aisle​,” Siegel told FoodNavigator-USA.

We found that the current category does not have offerings for teens who have outgrown the juice boxes and pouches of their childhood and are now seeking products that better fit their adult life. At the same time, recent research has shown parents are looking for healthier beverage options for their families; in fact, 56% of people leaving the category blame poor nutritionals like sugar, calories, and artificial sweeteners for pushing them away.

“And what’s more, very few - if any new products - in the market check the boxes for both these needs from parents and teens. Frutly is the answer to this dilemma, delivering on parents’ demands for hydration with no added sugar and no artificial sweeteners, and teens’ cravings for delicious, refreshing taste.”

So what does PepsiCo see as the addressable market here?

The ambient juice market is a “$9.8bn category ripe with opportunity, especially as more purchasers are now considering and stocking up on shelf-stable products as a result of our continued new normal at home,” ​claimed Siegal.  

‘Modern, clean design’

Devoid of the cartoon characters and other imagery featuring on many kids’ beverages, Frutly adopts a “modern, clean design using vibrant colors and interesting elements like the water droplet in the product name and logo so it stands out on shelf,” ​said Siegel, who said teens also want resealable, portable packaging (not pouches/juice boxes).

“The packaging design tested well above beverage norms among both our teen and parent consumer targets. Offering Frutly in multi-packs makes it a great option to toss into a backpack, sports bag or simply carry around the house during virtual learning.”

Energy in focus: bubly bounce, Rockstar, Mtn Dew...

Frutly is one of a series of new launches at PepsiCo, which posted a +8.8% rise in net revenues in Q4 and a +4.8% increase for the full year.

Speaking on the Q4 earnings call yesterday, CEO Ramon Laguarta said he saw strong potential in the energy and functional beverages space. The company - which announced the launch of caffeine-infused bubly bounce​ this morning – acquired the #4 brand in energy (Rockstar) last year, and has also dipped its toes in the energy drink category via line extensions of existing brands.

PepsiCo is currently integrating Rockstar into its supply chain, “improving the formulas… and building different propositions for multiple spaces ​[within] mainstream energy​,” said Laguarta, who said PepsiCo is also working with Starbucks on new energy concepts in coffee.

“At the same time, you will be seeing shortly some announcements on Mtn Dew launch in the spring time. This is going to be the first big move for Mtn Dew into the energy space.”

Gatorade, meanwhile, is “growing very fast​,” he said. “Zero has been an amazing innovation ​[generating] $1bn retail sales value already for a year… where we see the biggest opportunity for Gatorade is in creating more of a personalized solution for athletes, and kind of amateur athletes like most of us, and creating a much more engaged relationship where we become advisors of the athletes of their hydration needs of all their nutrition needs.”

Frutly Fruit Punch

Frutly​ (25% juice) is now in grocery stores nationwide including Kroger, Albertsons and SuperValu (MSRP: $1.29/bottle.

Available in Strawberry Kiwi, Fruit Punch and Apple Grape flavors, Frutly​ is made with water, fruit juice concentrates, electrolytes, and natural flavors, and contains 60-calories per 12 oz bottle, 15g naturally occurring sugar (from the juice) and 20% of the DV for vitamin C and E.

Ingredients list (fruit punch): ​Water, grape juice concentrate, apple juice concentrate, strawberry juice concentrate, natural flavor, potassium citrate, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), black carrot juice concentrate, fumaric acid (to promote color retention), magnesium chloride, vitamin E acetate, and citric acid.

kaylees

We had a record number of entries for our 2020 FOOD FOR KIDS​ Trailblazers Challenge, spanning everything from chickpea butter and lentil-based meat crumbles to bubbly probiotic water and veggie-infused ketchup. Here are some of the innovations that caught our eye.

Checkout our GALLERY ​of emerging kids' brands.

kids beverages-credit-Kraft-Heinz and Nestle Waters North America
Recent launches for younger children include Creative Roots from Kraft Heinz, with water, coconut water concentrate, natural flavors and stevia extracts (15 calories, 1g sugar); and Fruity Water from Nestlé Waters North America, with water, natural flavors, and mineral (0 calories, 0g sugar). Picture credits Kraft Heinz and PRNewsfoto/Nestlé Waters North America

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