Innocent and PJ Smoothies are coming under attack from yet another smoothie contender - Stute - which aims to bring smoothies to the masses by challenging rivals on price with an ambient offering.
Stute’s ambient range retails for £1.99, while Innocent can command more than £3 for similar-sized chilled versions, said MD Laurence Hybs. “There’s a need to bring the price down and bring smoothies within the reach of ordinary consumers.”
The UK company already sells German-made ambient fruit juices and soft drinks - along with jams, marmalades and spreads -
but its juices mainly have listings in c-stores and health shops. Hybs said the new product should extend its reach as the ambient smoothies could be merchandised in either the fruit juice aisle or chiller cabinet. “This should appeal to stores because they have a choice,” he said. The one-litre packs have a nine-month shelf life, compared with about a week for fresh smoothies, and keep for four days once opened.
Hybs added that convenience shops would also approve of an ambient product because the short shelf life of chilled products had deterred many small retailers from stocking them. “We’ve already got some listings in cash & carries which haven’t previously stocked smoothies,” he said.
Stute smoothies are available in two flavours - Orange & Mango and Raspberry & Cranberry - and the company plans to add extra flavours.
“We don’t know whether to do the same flavours as all the others or be a bit more adventurous,” said Hybs.
The smoothie category continues to grow. Del Monte launched its own assault on the smoothie market in October last year, with a range of chilled products in both 330ml and one-litre packs.
Helen Gregory