Vegetable juice booms in Asia

Wednesday, 12 March, 2014

Could vegetable juice be the next big thing in Asia? The Asian region accounts for 55% of the total vegetable juice market, market research firm Canadean says, with the segment expected to grow further as Asian consumers become increasingly health conscious.

In comparison, North America accounts for just 18% of the total vegetable juice market, with East Europe following close behind at 17%. Japan and China lead consumption in the Asian region, with vegetable juice accounting for the majority of the entire juice category in Japan.

Japanese consumers are reportedly embracing vegetable variants, with tomato in particular being the most popular. Javier Gutierrez, Beverage Analyst at Canadean, predicts that, with Japanese consumers becoming increasingly conscious about healthy lifestyle choices, vegetable beverages - particularly tomato - are likely to continue growing into the future.

“With health and wellness trends taking an important role in consumer purchasing habits, the vegetable-flavoured beverages segment will see its share increase over the coming years,” Gutierrez said.

A 2012 Kyoto University study that showed that tomatoes accelerate fat burning and prevent metabolic syndrome has driven tomato juice consumption in Japan. Wide media coverage of the study prompted a 50% increase in product sales in Japanese supermarket chains.

Canadean predicts that North America and Latin America will play a major role in the growth of this segment, driven by new product launches featuring nutrition claims. In 2012, vegetable flavours increased significantly in the United States due to small and established brands increasing their reach across the country. Vegetable variants reportedly outperformed their tomato-based counterparts, and Canadean predicts this trend will continue in the near future.

“Although this is a niche segment compared to other flavours, there is no doubt that vegetable-based beverages will continue to experience strong growth in the regions where they are predominant and gaining interest from health-conscious consumers,” Gutierrez said.

Globally, the rise of the segment is expected to be slower, affected by decreasing volumes in Europe where premium prices and low availability are limiting the segment’s development.

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