Higher quality PET for fruit juice

By: trademagazin Date: 2009. 04. 05. 08:00

Though consumption of fruit juices dropped last year, strong brands were not particularly badly hit, because consumers appreciate innovations even in cheaper segments. Owing to increasing price consciousness, the time has come for PET bottles to play a bigger role. In 2007, fluctuations in global prices had a strong influence on domestic sales. In 2008, price rises in the higher fruit content segment stopped but the increase n the market share of the lower fruit content segment continued. – Premium brands like SIÓ fresh&fruit entered the drink segment, still representing quality in consumption – says Katalin Zarándy, marketing director of SIÓ-Eckes Kft. According to László Szilágyi, director of Rauch Hungária Kft., the segment of fruit drinks has the greatest potential for innovation, like adding vitamins or trace minerals, or combining different flavours. In the opinion of János Gréczi, owner and managing director of Gramex 2000 Kft., the increase in the popularity of fruit drinks can be linked to the expansion produced by private labels in PET bottles which are focused on strongly by retail chains. As Éda Pogány, communications director of Coca-Cola Magyarország has told us, rational considerations like fruit content, the absence of preservatives, or nutritional values are becoming increasingly important in the drink segment as well. Consumers are more open to innovations than in the past. The market share of orange, the leading flavour is shrinking, because consumers have begun to experiment with other flavours. Apart from the growth produced by mixed fruit and multivitamin flavours, traditional Hungarian flavours like apricot and pear also did exceptionally well last year. Rauch Hungária also launched a number of innovations last year, including the 100 % apple version of Happy Day, made directly from apple and without preservatives or colouring. The popularity of products in PET bottles is growing although high quality PET bottles are not necessarily cheaper than paper boxes. PET bottles have their advantages like allowing consumers to see what they are buying. Cappy has been the first brand in the market to launch a 1 litre PET bottle version. In 2008, modernised PET bottles were introduced in 0.5 and 1.5 litre sizes for Bravo and Rauch IceTea as well. In Western markets, aseptic PET packaging which allows high fruit content juices to be filled in plastic bottles without preservatives has been developing rapidly in recent years. A proactive approach has been adopted by SIÓ-Eckes in responding to the recession in connection with both the SIÓ and the hohes C brands. According to the CEO Endre Fazekas, 2009 will not be the year of new product launches but changes in communication will be effected. Rauch is planning to restructure its flavour range of Bravo products in 2009 by launching new flavours in PET bottles and discontinuing less successful flavours. All of their brands will receive ATL support this year and BTL activities will also be refreshed. Coca-Cola Magyarország will continue to focus on distinguishing lower fruit content Cappy Ice Fruit products from the higher fruit content Cappy fruit juice product line, to which two new flavours will be added in 2009. Private labels in PET bottles and production of brand products account for a substantial part of the sales generated by Gramex 2000 Kft. They are also building their own brands like SCONTO in the drink segment, to which an apple-sour cherry version will be added this year.

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