Health benefits of cherries causes juice boom, research finding
Growing evidence about the health benefits of eating cherries has seen a recent popularity boom in the USA of juice products containing cherries, according to research undertaken by international research body Innova Market Insights.
Innova Market Insights has reported that cherry juices are increasing in popularity and increasingly carrying a ‘superfruits’ branding on packaging.
This, combined with their unique sweet-sour taste properties, is boosting demand, according to Innova.
Cherries in juices and juice drink blends
Innova Market Insights Research Manager, Lu Ann Williams, said that although they are not among the top fruits used in juice drink introductions, with orange and apple still dominating globally, ahead of mango and grape, they did feature in about 7 per cent of new juice products launched in 2011, up from 4 per cent five years previously.
Ms Williams said, “While a significant number of these launches are in the form of blends with other juices, particularly apple, we are increasingly seeing pure cherry juice products. These are usually on a premium platform, and sometimes specifying the type of cherry, not just sour or tart, but also varieties such as Montmorency.”
Research has established that cherries, particularly sour or tart cherries, have a high antioxidant content. Potential benefits from eating cherries have been identified as reducing inflammation, killing pain, and improving sleep quality.
Rise in popularity in the USA
According to Innova’s research, developments have been particularly marked in the USA, where tart cherries are a traditional American fruit. The USA accounted for 16 per cent of new juice drinks that contained cherry that were launched in 2011.
Ms Williams said, “As well as the more traditional blended products, in the USA there have been an increasing number of products focusing on more specialist cherry juice lines, all marketed as antioxidant rich and a source of vitamins C and E. More mainstream products are also starting to appear, with Ocean Spray introducing a Cherry Juice Cocktail in early 2012, following on from a Cran-Cherry blend in 2011.