There are quite a few items in our everyday lives that help get us through a number of different occasions -- a knee-length black skirt, a pair of khaki slacks, a navy suit or the perfectly muted, yet still interesting silk tie. Like these items that have many more than one usage occasion, today's juice segment reflects that same utilitarianism that black leather loafers offer both men and women. Though the juice industry isn't offering just one product to fit the needs of consumers at breakfast, lunch, dinner and all those moments in between, it is looking to have the perfect pairing for any of those occasions. And, for any type of consumer, as well.
Overall, the refrigerated juice and beverage category is a $4.5 billion segment, according to Information Resources Inc.'s supermarket data for the 52-week period ending April 22, 2001. Compared to last year's sales, this figure represents a 2.9 percent increase. Unit sales showed an increase -- up 0.6 percent to almost 1.9 billion units. About half the segments of this category -- including a range of juice products from orange juice to blended fruit juices, cider and vegetable juice/cocktail -- reported increases in sales from last year. But only the tea and all-other-fruit-juice segment showed marked increases, up 30.6 and 27.4 percent, respectively.
On the flip side, refrigerated cranberry juice/cranberry juice blends reported a dramatic fall, down 72.8 percent from last year. Cranberry cocktail/drinks and grapefruit cocktail/drinks also showed drastic dips, down 55 and 47.5 percent, respectively.
In collecting and evaluating worldwide figures, Euromonitor data shows that the fruit/vegetable juice category grew to more than $66 billion in 1999, a nearly $6-billion increase from 1995. North American consumption, according to Euromonitor, represents almost one-third of total world consumption, with Western Europe and Asia-Pacific picking up much of the rest.
For shelf-stable bottled juices, IRI reports that total supermarket, drug stores and mass merchandise figures ring up an almost $4 billion business. With dollar figures up 1.7 percent and the 2.1 billion units sold representing a decrease of 0.9 percent, numbers indicate that shelf-stable products may have taken a bit of a price increase this year.
Standing out in a crowd of figures, dollar and unit sales for shelf-stable bottled pineapple juice leapt 6,075 percent in sales and 5,204 in unit sales, albeit from a very small …