The authentically fresh juice brand’s rapid growth furthers its mission to provide world-class juice for generations to come with minimally processed blends
Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company, the nostalgic and authentic juice brand beloved for its use of high-quality, clean ingredients, is responding to persistent consumer demand across the West Coast in the US with the announcement of several major retailer partnerships in the region to significantly increase the availability of its award-winning juices. This expansion will bring consumers in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington the quality juices that Natalie’s is best known for producing. Over the next several months, consumers across the West can expect to find Natalie’s products at retailers including Albertsons, Brookshire Grocery Co., Rouses, Stater Brothers, and new divisions of Whole Foods in over 500 locations.
Natalie’s has experienced tremendous growth with regional sales up + 230 % YTD, primarily driven by over 2,700 new points of distribution in the West. After building strong brand affinity and awareness on the East Coast, Natalie’s is shifting its focus to the West with the company-wide goal of achieving 25 % growth and $ 150 million in sales by the end of 2023, while continuing to provide local customers with easy access to world-class juices.
Natalie’s is now sold in over 42 states in the US and 15 countries. What started as a simple dream for a small family business has grown into an internationally recognised and renowned brand with over 220 team members throughout the US and unrivaled customer loyalty.
Kerry announced details on the consolidation of its distributor network across Europe. The company has chosen Azelis and Caldic as distribution partners for Kerry products* to selected customers in the European region.
The appointment of these two well-recognised and experienced distributors will extend the reach of Kerry’s portfolio in market, enabling the supply of more customers with Kerry’s industry-leading products and technologies.
Caldic will operate in South Europe, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Nordics and Benelux while Azelis will have responsibility for Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Eastern Europe, within the food, beverage and meat sectors.
Kerry will continue to operate direct sales across the region to its established and target customer base.
*Kerry Dairy Ireland, condensed smoke, food service products, retail butchery in UK and Ireland, pharma products and supplements are not included.
IFF announced it has entered into an agreement to sell its Flavour Specialty Ingredients (FSI) business to Exponent, a leading UK-based private equity firm, for USD 220 million in cash proceeds. FSI reports through IFF’s Scent division and is a leading manufacturer of synthetic and natural base aroma chemicals used in the flavour market. Cash proceeds from the transaction, net of taxes and expenses, will be used to reduce outstanding debt.
“Aligned with our strategy, we’re continuously evaluating our portfolio to identify opportunities to strengthen our financial profile,” said IFF CEO Frank Clyburn. “The sale of FSI will improve our capital structure while allowing us to focus on our core businesses to enhance growth and returns. We appreciate the contributions of our FSI colleagues, who have shared our commitment to quality and customer service. We will work closely with Exponent to have a successful transition and look forward to FSI’s bright future.”
IFF’s FSI is a leading manufacturer of specialty base aromas with a broad range of more than 1,000 aroma chemicals and natural extracts, which provide inputs primarily to the flavour market. FSI includes four dedicated manufacturing and distribution facilities at Teesside and Hartlepool, United Kingdom; Cincinnati, United States; and Pucheng, China, with additional points of distribution in Mexico, Brazil and Hong Kong. With approximately 340 employees, IFF’s FSI business serves more than 970 customers and generated more than USD 100 million in revenue over the last 12 months.
IFF and Exponent expect to close the transaction by the end of Q3 2023, subject to customary closing conditions. Centerview Partners LLC acted as financial advisor to IFF, and Cravath, Swain & Moore LLP provided legal support.
Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company, is excited to announce its 2023 flavour of the year, dragon fruit, celebrating consumers’ desire for exciting new ingredients and bold, adventurous flavour creation.
“This marks our 11th flavour of the year, which is something our customers have come to look forward to each year. Dragon fruit’s bold vibrancy is a perfect choice as we embark an exciting year of change,” said Maurizio Clementi, ad interim President, Firmenich’s Taste & Beyond division. “Our in-depth Human Insights have identified the strong shift towards wellbeing and sustainability in people’s food and beverage choices, as well as newly-emerging elevated expectations in terms of taste. As everything we do is rooted in nature and deep consumer understanding, this inspired us to choose a flavour of the year which captures both.”
Drawing inspiration from colour & Trenz™
This is the second consecutive year of a sensory partnership between Firmenich and Pantone®. The global colour authority has just launched its 2023 colour of the year, PANTONE® 18-1750 Viva Magenta™, which it describes as a “brave and fearless, a pulsating colour whose exuberance promotes optimism and joy.” Mikel Cirkus, Global Creative Director for Taste & Beyond said: “In the same way that Pantone’s colour of the year captures the emerging themes seen in the world around us, our choice for flavour of the year does so by translating new signals into positive sensory experiences. Our 2023 choice of dragon fruit reflects the global consumer’s increasingly adventurous palate and desire for the new or exotic when it comes to ingredients and taste.”
Jeff Schmoyer, Firmenich Global Head of Human Insights, said: “Dragon fruit’s subtle flavour creates a wonderful opportunity to bring the exceptional creativity and expertise of Firmenich’s flavourists to the fore, providing the perfect canvas for them to dare to imagine bold, exciting and delicious new taste combinations.”
A fruit by any other name
Native to Central America, where it is known as pitahaya, and thriving in tropical and subtropical climates across the world, dragon fruit’s flesh is rich in antioxidants and high in calcium. Dragon fruit grows from a climbing cactus, making it a drought-resistant and naturally low water-use crop, requiring only a quarter of the water to grow compared to that of an avocado.
Much like the mystical creature that inspired its name, dragon fruit is fierce in appearance, with a scale-like skin in bold hues ranging from fiery yellow to bold magenta. However, its delicate flavour belies its imposing armor. With several different types varying in both colour and taste, dragon fruit ranges in flavour from milder melon and kiwi-like to slightly sweeter berry profiles with notes of beetroot.
Enter the dragon fruit
Part of its industry-leading Human Insights capability, Firmenich’s Trenz™ forecasting team spotted a post-Covid rise in dragon fruit across almost every major city in the world. While always popular within niche segments, the exotic fruit began showing up more universally across diverse markets and food service venues, as well as product applications, from the more intuitive juices and smoothies to less traditional formats like tea and cooked savory dishes.
According to Mikel Cirkus, this is all part of a decade-long trend for boldness and discovery in food and drink. The pandemic increased the pace of this trend, with huge spikes in consumers broadening their palates for new seasoning. Notably, expenditures on spices & seasonings at home grew 27 % CAGR1, Trenz™ found. New product innovation has followed, with on-pack claims such as “bold” and “exotic” up by 38 % since 2017, and the use of three- and four-way flavour combinations in products now cresting over 25 % of all food & beverage launches.
Firmenich’s renowned Emotions360 consumer research offered a second clue. This proprietary in-depth study of natural ingredients identified that people are very excited about dragon fruit. In fact, Emotions360’s latest wave, which surveyed 18,670 consumers across eight countries around the world, indicated that 88 % of consumers have heard of dragon fruit, and 56 % have tasted it. In terms of consumer perceptions, dragon fruit triggers associations with adjectives like bold, exotic, exciting, impressive and fun. Given this positive association, it’s not surprising that the same consumers ranked dragon fruit in the 90 % percentile among all ingredients with a high likelihood to rise in popularity in the future.
A fiery future
As much as dragon fruit is on fire in juice bars, markets, and street vendors around the world, the packaged food & beverage world was initially slow to innovate around this trend. However, this trend is changing, with product launches containing dragon fruit callouts now accelerating in all regions. In fact, dragon fruit use in CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) is growing more quickly in foods than beverages, where innovations typically appear first.
Jeff Schmoyer, Firmenich Global Head of Human Insights, commented: “Dragon fruit may be still a ‘rare’ fruit flavour for CPG food & beverage brands, but it is no longer rare to consumers. And in fact, this has translated to one of the fastest growth rates of any ingredient we’ve tracked in recent years. Given the small base and fast growth, it is certainly our boldest Flavour of the Year choice yet from a predictive foresights perspective. It’s possible that the initial lag in new product innovation is in part related to the challenge of realising the flavour of dragon fruit. Our consumer research shows that the fruit can sometimes surprise people by not having the strong flavour to match its visual appearance. Instead, the taste is light, refreshing, sweet, and delicious.”
“For this reason, Firmenich believes that its flavour creativity will play a key role in amplifying the taste and celebrating combinations of dragon fruit with other flavours,” Schmoyer concluded.
1Compound Annual Growth Rate (Source : Global Data LLC and Firmenich analytics)
Keurig Dr Pepper announced a strategic partnership with Red Bull, the iconic global energy brand, to sell and distribute Red Bull in Mexico, further leveraging and expanding KDP’s successful partner network strategy.
The sales and distribution partnership provides KDP with exclusive rights to distribute Red Bull Energy Drink products across independent retailers such as grocery, convenience, pharmacy and kiosks, as well as the wholesale, regional key account and on-premise channels in the country, with some exclusions. The partnership also provides the company with the option to distribute future ready-to-drink (RTD) beverage products that Red Bull may launch in Mexico in these locations.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Symrise is presenting its broad range of diana foodTM blueberry ingredients and active compounds. Like other products from the portfolio of natural ingredients, it features various characteristics and performance benefits. They include competitiveness, various organoleptic properties, application-specific high-quality standards as for baby food, distinct certification like organic, and the option to claim health benefits.
Consumers around the world like blueberries for their indulgent properties and healthy image. These berries come with a delicious taste profile of fruity, sweet, and acidic notes. Also, they can contribute to maintaining health thanks to their content in antioxidants and phenolic compounds.
To always meet consumers’ expectations, Symrise leverages on its worldwide network of selection, sourcing, and processing facilities. For blueberry, the company responsibly sources three different species, from three distinct geographical regions, and processes the fresh fruits at locations close to the growing sources.
Symrise processes blueberry ingredients in France, Canada, and Chile. The production preserves the fruit’s inherent beneficial properties by using different technologies: concentration, to obtain juice concentrate; spray drying and roller drying technologies, to obtain various product formats (powders, flakes, and crunchies); and extraction, to concentrate the actives compounds.
Three blueberry species with distinct properties
- Vaccinium myrtillus, also known as bilberry, grows in Eastern & Northern Europe. It has become popular for its distinctive blueberry taste and goes predominantly into sweet goods applications. Bilberry often goes into eye health products, thanks to its anthocyanins content.
- Vaccinium angustifolium, wild blueberry (lowbush) is one of the oldest native berries in North America. It successfully grows in the harshest climatic conditions, which results in fruit with three times the phenolic compounds and twice the antioxidant power of blueberry (highbush). Wild blueberry (lowbush) stands out for varied health benefits. Findings from several clinical studies indicate that wild blueberry may provide benefits for delayed memory, mood, learning performance, and executive functions. With its range of wild blueberry (lowbush) extracts, highly concentrated in polyphenols, Symrise brings these health benefits into convenient formats for dietary supplement applications.
- Vaccinium corymbosum is a blueberry cultivated in Latin America. Its intense dark purple color offers an interesting visual contrast and allows fruit recognition, particularly appreciated in food applications. They taste sweet and offer low acidity. As a cultivated crop, this species offers the most cost competitive solution of the three varieties.
Manufacturers can use the solutions from the three blueberry species in many applications, from RTD drinks and smoothies to breakfast cereals, bars, dessert toppings, baby and toddler snacks, sports nutrition products, and dietary supplements. With more than twenty distinct product references, Symrise offers solutions ranging from powders over flakes to crunchies.
The limited-edition flavour, inspired by the Minions’ love for bananas, is being marketed as “a work of evil genius” and shows how the three-year-old brand is working creatively to go toe-to-toe with the leaders of the USD 38B traditional soda industry.
Functional soda brand OLIPOP announced a partnership with Illumination and Universal Pictures to create a limited-edition Banana Cream flavour, timed to the global theatrical release of the new Illumination film, Minions: The Rise of Gru, on July 1, 2022. The new flavour is now available online at www.drinkolipop.com. Gopuff, the go-to platform for immediate delivery of consumers’ everyday needs, will also be selling single cans in select markets starting June 16, 2022 in the US. The limited-edition flavour will be available for purchase until July 15, 2022.*
This advertising campaign marks a huge milestone for OLIPOP’s better-for-you brand, as they join forces with the biggest global animated film franchise in history. The partnership exemplifies OLIPOP’s growth within the industry as they prove they can compete with the traditional soda companies, not only in terms of elevating taste and nutritionals, but in relevance to mainstream pop culture.
OLIPOP’s delicious product offerings, health benefits, and consistent out-of-the-box marketing tactics have not only attracted powerhouse companies such as Illumination and Universal Pictures, but also celebrity investors including Camila Cabello, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas, Kevin Jonas, Mindy Kaling, Logic, Gwyneth Paltrow and more.
After launching in 2018, OLIPOP has already achieved a striking valuation of USD 200 million, with an anticipated USD 100 million run-rate by the end of 2022. The brand was started by beverage entrepreneurs Ben Goodwin and David Lester who set out to create a functional soda – one with a familiar and delicious taste but with the added benefits of microbiome and digestive health support. In just three years, the brand has disrupted the traditional soda industry and amassed widespread appeal for its tasty, nostalgia-infused flavours, and proprietary gut-friendly formulation. While traditional soda is loaded with sugar and additives, each can of OLIPOP has 35 – 45 calories, contains two to five grams of natural sugars, and provides nine grams of prebiotic plant fiber, which is one-third of the daily recommended amount. The product is eliminating the consequences of the traditional soda category, and making way for a new functional soda with benefits, changing the trajectory of health outcomes for many consumers.
*Actual length of availability will be based on sell-through.
OLIPOP is a functional soda that offers the experience of enjoying cola without the guilt. OLIPOP was formulated alongside a team of leading scientists who developed a tonic that combines the classic soda taste with the benefits of plant-based fiber, prebiotics, and other botanical ingredients to help balance out the body’s microbiome and promote overall well-being. OLIPOP is available in a variety of flavours including Vintage Cola, Orange Squeeze, Strawberry Vanilla, Cherry Vanilla, Lemon Ginger, Classic Root Beer, Orange Cream, Blackberry Vanilla, Classic Grape, and Tropical Punch. OLIPOP is Non-GMO, paleo, vegan, and gluten-free and is available online at www.drinkolipop.com as well as more than 10,000 grocers in the US including Kroger, Target, Whole Foods, Sprouts, Safeway, and Wegmans.
Symrise continues to develop its health expertise with the launch of a new range of aronia health actives. The range contains an aronia extract and aronia juice powder, both standardized in polyphenols and anthocyanins. The company has filed a patent application for the aronia extract, which has a unique polyphenols profile in addition to strong multiple cellular antioxidant effects. This range expands the diana food™ portfolio of health actives, which forms a part of the Taste, Nutrition & Health segment.
Aronia (Aronia melanocarpa), also known as black chokeberry, contains a high concentration of potent antioxidants such as polyphenols, particularly anthocyanins. Plants produce these antioxidants to protect themselves from environmental stress. While few consumers know aronia, this little berry can be characterized as a superfruit and thus as a key component of the better-for-you health trend. Literature has well-documented the antioxidative properties of aronia. This relates specifically to cardiovascular health, metabolic health, and immune system support. Symrise has demonstrated the specific cellular antioxidative properties of the aronia extract on different cell types, including intestinal cells, using a novel cellular model.
Under the diana food™ portfolio brand of health actives, the aronia extract comes with a unique polyphenols profile: high total polyphenolic content, high proanthocyanins content, and a specific proanthocyanidins-to-anthocyanins ratio. The carrier-free, free-flowing aronia extract in powder form features a minimum of both fifty percent total polyphenols and ten percent anthocyanins. Suggested applications include capsules, tablets, powder sticks, nutritional shots, and supplement gummies. The spray-dried, soluble aronia juice powder features a minimum of both two percent total polyphenols and 0.2 percent anthocyanins. Applications for the juice powder include powder drinks, healthy beverages, snacks, and foods.