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In the price volatile and competitive juice market, brands are under increasing pressure to distinguish their offerings from the masses. One area still rather unexplored, but with scope for development, is variety-specific juices such as juice made with Gala apples, Williams pears or Merlot grapes.

Many consumers have a favourite fruit variety or simply enjoy the freedom of choice and diversity and would like to also have that option when buying juice. Mintel research highlights that over a quarter (26%) of German consumers express interest in trying juices made with specific varieties of fruit.

In modern juice production, fruit diversity has fallen victim to economic considerations and the pursuit of consistency. For example, most apple juice options on grocery store shelves are blends made with a mixture of different apple varieties that can be adjusted according to availability and cost of the raw materials. Focusing on a single variety represents a risk for producers, as in case of shortages the price of the raw material will increase. The same principle applies to many other juice types.

While innovation around specific varieties is still limited, juice brands are increasingly leaving the field of uniformity to raise their premium appeal. In Germany, for example, an interesting new range named “My Favourite Apple” comes from juice manufacturer Amecke. It includes the following varieties: Golden Delicious, said to provide a harmonic balance of sweetness and acidity, Idared, which is vibrant and aromatic, and Cripps Pink, described as enticingly fruity.

Amecke small      Merlot Grape Juice small      Williams Pear Nectar small      Trebbiano Grape Juice small

A number of other brands are also making references to specific types of pears, such as Zuegg Skipper with its nectar made with Williams pears, called the “Queen of Pears” for their intense and sweet juicy flavour. Meanwhile, grapes are also going more explicit, such as in AMC’s Saftig range which includes Trebbiano and Sangiovese grape juice varieties.

As consumers look more critically at the foods and drinks they consume, juice made with variety-specific fruits stands out through authentic origin and quality of ingredients. Much like in the wine industry, where the type of grape is an important factor for consumers, juice brands looking to raise their premium profile can profit from promoting specific fruit varieties. Moreover, variety-specific fruit types suggest a sense of transparency and traceability, fitting in well with consumers’ growing desire for products with background stories and artisan values.

Julia Büch is a Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel. She specialises in delivering insights on issues affecting the German food and drink market, providing analysis across a range of food and drink categories. Previously Trend & Innovation Consultant at Mintel, Julia was responsible for providing tailored product innovation analysis and client support primarily to Mintel’s German speaking clients.