American-grown fruit adds appeal to juices in China, research shows

Published: 22-May-2017

Fruit juices made from ingredients grown in the USA are highly appealing to many Chinese millennial fruit juice drinkers, according to new consumer research

In a survey of 300 Chinese fruit juice drinkers aged 18-35, commissioned by America-based Concord grape juice producer Welch’s Global Ingredients Group, respondents were asked to choose indicators of a high quality juice.

More than half (60%) chose the claim: “Made with fruit grown in the USA”. This compared favourably with results for “Made with fruit grown in Europe” (46%) and “Made with fruit grown in Asia” (24%).

The research, conducted independently by Surveygoo, explored in depth the attitudes and behaviours of Chinese millennials, also known as Post 90s, who drink fruit juice. It found that the provenance of a fruit juice is of paramount importance to these consumers, with 84% of respondents stating that they believe it is important to know the origin of the fruit used to make their juice.

Wayne Lutomski, Vice President International & Welch’s Global Ingredients Group, said: “This survey confirms what we are hearing anecdotally on the ground in China: millennial fruit juice drinkers are looking for products that are made in the USA. They equate American goods with high quality, and brands that highlight this on-pack and in other marketing activities could gain an edge in China’s competitive juice market.”

Health is also a top priority

The survey also found that health is a leading priority for Chinese millennials who drink fruit juice. In fact, the three most important things these consumers are looking for from their juices are nutrition and health (chosen by 78% of respondents), good taste (71%) and specific health benefits (63%).

Furthermore, Chinese millennial juice drinkers ranked milk and 100% fruit juice as the two healthiest choices in a list of popular beverages.

This positive attitude towards 100% juice reflects the wider trend in the Chinese fruit juice and drinks market. According to Euromonitor, sales of 100% juice in China have enjoyed a compound annual growth rate of 14.6% during the past 5 years – second only to coconut water.

Heart health (66%), digestive health (65%) and mind health (63%) are the three health benefits Chinese millennial fruit juice drinkers say they are most interested in getting from their fruit juice. In addition, 61% of respondents said they are more likely to buy a fruit juice if it delivers polyphenols. Meanwhile, 77% said they drink superfruit juices because of the health benefits they provide.

A true American super fruit

The findings from the survey highlight opportunities for manufacturers to create differentiated fruit juice products that will resonate with Chinese millennial fruit juice drinkers. Key learnings point towards demand for juices such as Concord grape juice, which tastes great, delivers polyphenols to help support a healthy heart and is made from fruit grown in the USA by Welch’s more than 900 grower owners.

Wayne Lutomski concluded: “Our survey demonstrates that Chinese Millennial fruit juice drinkers are knowledgeable about provenance and nutrition, and have clear ideas about what they find appealing in a product. They appreciate the taste and goodness of 100% fruit juice and are familiar with polyphenols, the beneficial plant nutrients found in superfruits such as Concord grapes."

Concord grape juice, with its delicious flavour, American roots and research-backed health benefits, is the perfect ingredient for manufacturers looking to create products that align with these consumers’ preferences and stand out in the Chinese beverage market.”

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