With sales of traditional soft drinks on the decline internationally, natural, organic and specialty products are bucking the trend as health takes centre stage during COVID-19.
Globally, consumers are increasingly seeking local products and small manufacturers offering healthy and environmentally conscious alternatives that are making an impact on the market.
Gold Coast-based Queensland Fruit Processors, which has been operating for the past 18 years and supplies a number of Australian hotels along with domestic and international airlines, is jumping on the all-natural juice juggernaut by launching a new brand, Burleigh Drinks Co.
Queensland Fruit Processors to produce natural fruit juice
The company’s co-owner Michael Paull said, “The pandemic had provided the right opportunity to move into canning all-natural juice and the company’s flagship lemonade product.”
“It was one of those things when the global COVID-19 pandemic hit. We had the choice to either do nothing or go for something we’ve had in the background going on for a few years.”
“At Queensland Fruit Processors, we are bound by having to use some imports because there is some stuff we just can not get here, and we also use plastic that we can’t avoid.”
Queensland Fruit Processors grows despite the pandemic
“The pandemic had shifted consumer priorities. A few years ago, people weren’t looking at or weren’t real aware of what was in the ingredients or how things were made.”
“But now there is, our lemonade is just lemon juice and honey, so there’s no colours or preservatives and flavours. It’s all natural as you can literally have it for breakfast,” Paull said.
“People want to see local products as the imported products aren’t cheap and Australian products can compete favourably and successfully against these imported products.”
“The timing is good in that sense. The overall picture is good. All-natural juice products are leading the about-face beverage sales in Australia as well as the United States of America.”
SPINS insights for natural, organic and specialty products’ industry show that sales in USA of conventional shelf stable juices grew 9.5% to $6.2bn and sales grew 19.6% to $658m.
Global Data’s Australia Beverages Consumption Trends and Forecasts Tracker report found that soft drink sales in Australia posted the strongest annual decline of 7.2% during 2021.