Wild taps clear fruit-juice trend with Refresher concept
fruit-juice drinks called Refresher, to help manufacturers tap
demand for near water, spritzer and water-plus products.
Wild's own research, which is supported by findings from other independent market analysts, suggests that water-with-a-difference is a rising trend in the beverage market. In addition, light and low calorie products are seen to be popular with consumers. Tuned into this Wild, which has its headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany, says its new Refresher drinks concept is a "pleasantly refreshing alternative to the classic spritzer". The flavours that can be used are a mix of native and exotic fruits. The combinations the company proposes include apple-elderberry-lemonbalm, and gooseberry-apricot-yellow plum. Moreover, there are a number of variants on the concept for products that can be positioned to appeal to certain groups of consumers. The premium version contains 50 per cent fruit juice, with natural flavours being the key. Sweetness is supplied in the form of Wild's FruitUP, a natural sweetener introduced this year that is said to have the same intensity as sugar crystals but actually comprising a mixture of clear fruit juice alternatives. This origin means that products containing FruitUp can make the claim "sweetened with fruit". To attract the calorie-conscious consumer, however, Wild proposed beverages containing between 12 and 30 per cent juice. By using the Sweet Up sweetening system, products with a calorie content as low as 20 kcal per 100ml can be achieved. A sports version has also been proposed, with suggested flavours being lemon or fruits of the forest, and functional ingredients that bring added health benefits can also be added to the mix. Wild serves the beverage industry by keeping its ear to the ground over market trends, pinpointing areas of high growth, and developing concepts to meet them. These concepts are available to manufacturers as beverage compounds in a concentrated form, containing all the flavouring elements. The beverage brand manufacturer need only add water and, if they chose not to go with Wild's options, a sweetener prior to filling the bottles. In addition to prototype beverages to show a manufacturer how a product can look and taste, Wild can also contribute ideas on brand names and appropriate packaging. While the refresher concept is deemed to have mainstream potential and is therefore available to the industry at large, Wild also works with manufacturers on more sophisticated and tailored ideas on an exclusive basis. According to Zenith International, which analyses the UK beverage market, the consumer swing towards healthier beverages led to a 3.6 per cent increase in consumption volume for soft drinks as a whole in 2006. Total soft drinks sales reached £12.8bn (€18.9bn) in 2006 as total consumption as total consumption rose to 14.3bn litres. Smoothies, chilled juice, still juice drinks and bottled water were said to have the greatest momentum in that market last year.