Seeds are beginning to emerge as a key ingredient in juice drink launches across Southeast Asia.

While still niche, the number of new product introductions with a type of seed as an ingredient has increased year on year—from less than 1% of total new juice launches in 2013, to over 2% in 2016, according to Mintel Global New Products Database. Basil seeds are the most common type of seed used in juice drinks across Southeast Asia, while the use of chia seeds started to emerge in 2016.

The inclusion of basil seeds in drinks is not new in countries like Thailand, where basil seeds are traditionally looked upon for their high fibre, slimming and digestive properties. In fact, many consumers in Southeast Asia are familiar with having different textures in their drinks. For instance, nata de coco, a jelly-like food ingredient produced by the fermentation of coconut water, is often used in drinks to provide an added texture.

In light of this, consumers in the region are accustom to textures in their drinks, therefore, the inclusion of seeds like chia or basil seeds in juices has the potential to see positive pick up.

Juice drinks with seeds in Southeast Asia

Premiumising juice launches with inclusion of seeds

With seeds now increasingly featured in juice drinks, Singapore homegrown food and beverage company, Fraser and Neave (F&N), launched Fruit Tree Fresh ‘Wonders’, a new premium extension to the company’s Fruit Tree Fresh juice range. The line features two distinct flavours: Zesty Lime with Organic Chia Seeds and Luscious Berries with Organic Chia Seeds. As part of the brand’s attempt at introducing premiumisation to the Fruit Tree Fresh juice range, the ‘Wonders’ line extension comes at a higher price point due to the use of distinctive packaging and inclusion of superfood ingredients, like chia seeds.

Meanwhile in Thailand, Ganesh Intertrade launched the brand O-Drink Fruit, a series of fruit juice drinks that feature basil seeds as a star ingredient, with flavours including the Lychee Drink with Basil Seeds, Mango Drink with Basil Seeds, and the Orange Drink with Basil Seeds to name a few.

As shown in a consumer study by Mintel, 22% of urban Thai juice drinkers are interested in trying new fruit juice, juice drink, or smoothie options that contain superfood ingredients. As a result, there is a clear opportunity within Southeast Asia for healthier packaged juice drinks, and the use of seeds in juices is likely to be successful.

Davina Patel is a Global Food & Drink Trends Analyst at Mintel. She specialises in delivering food and drink insights on the latest product innovation and market and consumer trends, mainly for the South Asia region.

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