Juice innovation is evolving
While Here markets its products as juices, there’s an emerging sector in the space positioning similar products as drinkable cold soups. Los Angeles-based Soupure, for example, offers a namesake line of drinkable soups marketed as “souping is the new juicing.” Compared to juicing, which separates juice from plant fibers and may be high in simple sugars, drinkable soups typically include whole vegetables and fruits.
Marketed as a grab-and-go meal or snack, Soupure drinkables are made using a gentle cooking process to soften cell walls and make the micronutrients more accessible and the plant fiber easier to digest, according to the company. Varieties include carrot, ginger and turmeric; Japanese sweet potato; pumpkin miso; spicy asparagus leek; and tomato basil.
Frey Farms, Keenes, Ill., is embracing the cold-pressed fruit and vegetable trend with investment in a processing facility on its farms in Poseyville, Ind. The company made its initial debut in 2014 with cold-pressed, unpasteurized Tsamma Watermelon Juice for retail distribution in the Midwest. The increased capacity will allow the company to expand distribution and offer product to the regional food service industry.
In the making of the beverage, each watermelon undergoes a proprietary process that uses minimal processing techniques to cold extract the juice and chill it to near freezing within minutes. This helps to maintain flavor while retaining its natural color as well as nutrients. Earlier this year, the company introduced a watermelon juice and coconut water blend to join its signature beverage and will continue to expand its product line. The offering is still cold-pressed but also undergoes low-energy pasteurization to extend shelf life.
Some juice marketers are differentiating by developing new spins to classic beverages. That is what is found with Chicago-based Poppilu L.L.C., which is introducing a line of namesake all-natural lemonades marketed for their antioxidant content. They carry the tagline: “bold on citrus, not on sugar.” To deliver as promised, each flavor of Poppilu contains 16% to 19% lemon juice and aronia berries. To bring the flavors together, Poppilu is sweetened with a blend of sugar and stevia, yielding a beverage with 60 calories and 14 grams of sugar per 12-oz bottle.
Poppilu comes in three varieties. Original is lemonade with aronia berry, which gives the beverage a pink hue. The other two varieties — blueberry lavender and passionfruit — include additional fruit juices.