Juice sales rise during pandemic, but how long will the category’s growth last?

According to SPINS data presented at virtual Expo West late last month, sales of conventional shelf stable juices increased 9.5% to $6.2bn in the 52 weeks ending April 18, while sales of shelf stable specialty & wellness juices grew 19.6% to $658m and shelf stable natural product juices grew 4.8% to $893m in the same period. SPINS also reports that refrigerated juices and functional beverages also climbed 12.2% to $5.4bn in the conventional market, 6.3% to $165m in specialty and wellness and 8% to $2.3bn in the natural products sector in the same period.

This is a notable reversal for the juice and juice drinks category, which data from Statista shows slowly declining from $9.95bn in 2016 to $9.79 bn in 2018.

To find out what is behind juice’s about-face, which trends from the pandemic will stick and how category players can maintain and build on these gains going forward – even as the threat of COVID-19 eases in the US, FoodNavigator-USA is joined in this episode of its Soup-To-Nuts podcast​ by Anup Shah, the chief marketing officer and vice president of the Juice Plus brands portfolio at PepsiCo Beverages North America, and Ilana Orlofsky, the senior marketing manager at Imbibe Drink Tank.

[Editor’s note: Never miss an episode of FoodNavigator-USA’s Soup-To-Nuts podcast – subscribe ​today.]

‘Juice is really seeing a resurgence during COVID’

Acknowledging that the juice industry has experienced ups and downs in the past decade, Shah says he is optimistic that the category is entering a new era of growth with the pandemic reinvigorating consumer interest in the category from multiple angles, including holistic health, permissible indulgence and relaxation, and expanded or shifting meal times.

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