Shot-sized health-boosting juice launches take off

Consumers are increasingly interested in naturally-functional food and drinks. This increase in health consciousness, coupled with busy on-the-go lifestyles, has fuelled innovation around smart, nutrient-rich snacking solutions. Tapping into this trend, health-promoting juice shots provide a quick, natural boost of nutrition in small to-go bottles. Though still niche, the share of juice shots in total juice launches in Europe has increased sixfold over the past four years.

Nordic countries take a leading role in innovation

Nordic countries, led by Denmark, take a prominent role in juice shot launch activity in Europe. Of all juices described as shots/boosters launched between October 2015 and September 2017 in Europe, 39% were launched in Denmark. Germany, Norway and Sweden follow with 13% of launches each. Repeatedly referred to as “the healthiest countries in the world”, Nordic countries put a strong focus on wholesome, nutrient-rich and naturally functional diets.

Ginger dominates the scene, but probiotic-rich ingredients on the rise

Using concentrated doses of fruits, vegetables, plant extracts and herbs, juice shots are designed as a preventive measure to boost consumers’ overall wellbeing, but can also address specific health issues. These include boosting energy levels, supporting the immune system and digestive health, curing hangovers and relieving flu symptoms. Often combined with lemon juice, ginger is by far the leading ingredient in juice shot innovation. Dubbed a ‘wonder plant’, ginger has found its way into the diets of health-conscious individuals around the world, as it reportedly helps relieve pain and muscle soreness, lowers blood pressure and boosts the immune system. Meanwhile, fermentation is experiencing a revival in the food and drink sector, recognised for turning products into powerhouses of beneficial probiotics and friendly bacteria. Probiotics are linked with better digestion, improved immunity, and a range of other health benefits, fitting in well with the concept of juice shots. Beyond traditional 'superfood' herbs and spices, juice shot brands can profit from embracing fermented, probiotic-rich ingredients. James White, Organic Xtra Intense & Hot Ginger Shot with Chill, Denmark:This ‘wake-me-up’ shot with pressed organic ginger and apple juice has a chili kick that makes it extra hot. Kung Markatta, Beetroot and Ginger Juice Shot, Sweden: This sweet and spicy juice retails in a 250ml bottle, containing the equivalent of 12 shots.Organic Human, Shot of Antioxidant with Ginger, Apple, Kale, Spirulina, Wheatgrass, Barley Grass and Lime, Denmark: This superfood-enriched shot is a source of vitamin C, which contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system, and vitamin E, which protects cells from oxidative stress.