Talking Shop with… David Kirkpatrick

The chief marketing officer for The FaVe Juice Co. says consumers are looking for beverages with fewer calories and more servings of fruits and vegetables.

Grocery Headquarters: Tell us about the state of the beverage category. What is driving sales at supermarkets?
David Kirkpatrick: The beverage category is rapidly changing to accommodate the consumers’ desire for healthier beverage choices. This is because Americans now ingest 158 pounds of sugar per capita annually, which equals 50 teaspoons of sugar per day. Almost 43% of this sugar comes from beverages. This stunning number has helped to drive an epidemic increase in diabetes; there are now about 26 million diabetics in the U.S.
Sugar provides us with energy, but excess sugar is metabolized into stored energy, also known as fat. As a result, today America is the fattest nation in the history of the world, with 60% of U.S. adults now overweight or obese.

In the health-centric juice category, consumers are seeking options that give them daily vegetable or fruit servings. This is because the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate recommends nine to 10 servings of fruit and vegetables per day, but Americans average only 4.5 servings.

What do retailers need to do to maximize sales from the beverage segment?
High-performing retailers are assessing their beverage offerings to ensure their assortments meets the changing needs of their shoppers. Consumers continue to want the convenience of packaged beverages, which is great news for retailers.

For supermarkets, the major threat is that they will buy those beverages from other retailers if the category assortment does not meet their needs. This is especially true in the juice category, as consumers purchase in this segment specifically for health-centric reasons.

What about assortment?
The great challenge for busy retailers is sifting through the myriad new beverage options to find those that truly deliver meaningful innovation and category growth potential instead of just more flavor extensions.

Consumers in the juice category are prolific label-readers, and their focus is on 100% juice content, all-natural, calories, sugar and vegetable/fruit servings. Many consumers also want to avoid all added sweeteners.

Tell us about FaVe? What is your niche and why do you think it will work?
FaVe (an acronym for fruit and vegetable juice) is a new product using patented breakthrough technology. One 8-ounce glass of FaVe contains three full servings of vegetables and only 60 calories. There are no added sweeteners of any kind; just all-natural 100% juice.

Consumers told us their ideal juice beverage would contain fewer calories with more daily servings of vegetables and fruits with no added sweeteners. They wanted a delicious, healthy juice that their whole family would enjoy. They also said they were “settling” today for juices that delivered some of these attributes, but not all of them. FaVe is the first juice that truly delivers against all of the consumer wants.

Finally, FaVe is light and delicious, in three fruit flavors: Pomegranate-Blueberry-Goji, Strawberry-Banana-Kiwi and Orange-Tangerine-Pineapple.

Where do retailers need to market your product? What about educating the consumer about how your product works and its benefits?
FaVe is a shelf-stable juice and will initially be available in 46-ounce recyclable PET bottles. This is an industry-standard bottle size, making it easier for both consumers and retailers to purchase.

FaVe is designed to increase the size and value of the shelf-stable juice category while also improving the healthfulness of the category offerings. This is great for retailers who embrace active lifestyle and healthy diet initiatives.

We will have a full suite of consumer marketing programs to educate and inform shoppers—including traditional media, couponing and rich social marketing.

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