A new strategic study by Organic Monitor finds that the European organic juices market has been expanding at over 20 per cent a year since 1998. The major drivers of growth are the marketing activities of the major retailers and growing consumer demand for healthy and nutritious foods, according to the report, titled "The European Market for Organic Juices'.
The German and Italian organic juice markets are showing the highest growth this year. Widening availability of organic juices in the supermarkets is boosting market volumes, the report explains. Few German and Italian supermarkets were marketing organic juices in 2001 and many have added them to their juice ranges this year.
While consumer demand for other organic products is slowing, interest in organic juices remains high. European consumers are showing greater interest in health and diet issues and this is translating into high demand for juices. Organic juices are perceived to be healthier and more natural than conventional juices. Organic juices that are freshly squeezed or made Not From Concentrate (NFC) are experiencing high growth because of this consumer trend.
With Germans being the world's largest juice drinkers, it is no surprise that the German organic juices market is the largest in Europe. It accounts for over 40 per cent of total volumes and the share is projected to reach 50 per cent in the short term. Britain has the second largest organic juices market in Europe however the market is to show the lowest growth over the forecast period. Retail penetration of organic juices has reached saturation and consumer demand for organic juices is stabilising in the UK.
Organic fruit juices dominate the European organic juices market and the largest segments are apple juice and orange juice. Organic vegetable juices are less popular with European consumers however the segment is to show higher growth than the organic fruit juice market due to the launch of new varieties. The organic vegetable juices market is projected to show compound annual growth rate of 19 per cent in the coming years. Total European organic juice volumes are forecast to top 100 million litres during the forecast period.
Organic Monitor found the European organic juices market to be highly fragmented. There are over 100 companies involved in the production and bottling of organic juices in Europe however there is an absence of large companies at the regional level.
The report also noted that a number of conventional juice producers have entered the market in the last few years and they have gained high market share. The market leaders in the future are predicted to be those that are able to achieve economies of scale or those that can undertake a differentiation strategy.