PepsiCo’s Tropicana juices recaptured more than 3.1 million lapsed users during the COVID-19 pandemic. In an interview, Anup Shah, VP and CMO of juice at PepsiCo Beverages North America, said a primary driver of that surge was the fact that families gravitated back to breakfast as they were forced together for longer periods of time. In 2019, the combined US juice and juice drinks categories at retail declined -1.0% by dollars and -2.7% by volume, which was part of multi-year slide, according to BD data. In 2020, however, juice and juice drinks jumped +10.3% by dollars and +8.2% by volume. During the first quarter of this year, some of that momentum stuck, with juice and juice drinks growing +5.0% by dollars and +1.4% by volume. To identify and position PepsiCo’s juice portfolio for this consumer shift, Shah and his team conducted consumer research late last year and developed priorities for responding to the results, he said. Survey respondents were current juice consumers, and lapsed users who hadn’t consumed juice in more than a year. Shah said three takeaways will inform PepsiCo’s juice-related innovation and investment:
1) 37% of juice consumers “are letting themselves indulge more often in foods and beverages they enjoy,” Shah said. Tropicana and other brands will be pushed as an afternoon “break from everyday stress,” and Naked smoothies are expanding into more “indulgent flavor profiles” to take occasions from adjacent categories such as yogurt, Shah said.
2) 36% of consumers said beverages fortified with vitamins and minerals are more important to them now that they were before the pandemic. Of those consumers, almost three-quarters say they will continue to seek such products post-pandemic, according to Shah. In addition, the primary purchase driver for juice consumers was boosting the immune system. “That's an area juice brands are uniquely positioned to solve,” Shah said, adding that juice portfolio marketing will focus on that messaging.
3) 45% of juice consumers said spending time with family was a higher priority than it was before the pandemic, and more consumers are having breakfast at home, Shah added. “I'm bullish on where juice will be heading post-pandemic,” he said. “We're never going to go back to five days in the office again, or at least a lot of lot of consumers won't. So even if you go to two to three days a week at home, that's a lot more breakfast occasions for juice consumers.” The division also will look to expand OJ beyond breakfast, to other occasions and dayparts. Separately, PepsiCo will invest in brands such as Izze Sparkling Juice and Frutly juice water to further address the shift toward more family connection, Shah said.
KEVITA SHOTS LAUNCH. This week, Shah’s team introduced a line of 2-oz KeVita Prebiotic Shots in three flavors: Beet Lemon, Blueberry Mint, and Turmeric Ginger. The fermented shots tout 3g of prebiotic fiber intended as “food for the good bacteria in your gut,” according to PepsiCo. The shots will be sold nationally at mass grocery, drug, convenience, and specialty food stores.
JUICE RESULTS BY COMPANY. Last year, PepsiCo’s juice and juice drinks portfolio at US retail jumped almost +12% by dollars and volume, according to BD data. Coke’s portfolio grew +7.5% by dollars and +5.6% by volume. Keurig Dr Pepper’s portfolio grew +4.6% by dollars and +6.8% by volume. The data covers all retail channels, including c-stores and Walmart.
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