>>recently launched drinks put to the test

The fruit juice and smoothie market has a lot going for it. Facing a barrage of advice to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, many consumers see smoothies as an easy way to make their diet more healthy.
There is no doubt that new products in these categories are achieving higher levels of consumer approval than ever before. Average ratings in the ambient/shelf stable juice category have risen by one point in the past two years and by two in the chilled category, although are still some way off the six point rise in average ratings for new dairy drinks in the same period.
Levels of consumer adoption are closely related to high ratings for taste, aftertaste and ease of drinking - how the product feels in the mouth. Analysis shows a high level of correlation to these measures before trial, indicating that respondents are already weighing up how likely they are to enjoy the drink, even at the purchase stage.
The increase in ratings for dairy drinks is largely as a result of recent innovations in lighter, functional, products that offer a health benefit such as a probiotic base, or the inclusion of cholesterol-reducing ingredients.
Juice-based drinks enjoy inherent health benefits, but it is palatability that seems to dictate levels of acceptance. Ambient versions are rated more highly than chilled because they usually feel lighter in the mouth, and less thick and cloying than 100%-juice blends.
The addition of vitamins and minerals or the focusing on energy values seems only to complicate the proposition at this stage in the development of the market.
This Asda interpretation of the category-topping J2O Juice Drink proved to be less popular than the original. Thicker and more syrupy, the mango content dominated flavour and mouthfeel, compromising refreshment.

Unlike the popular orange, carrot & mango version tested last year, this flavour polarised opinion. Some in the 18-34 age group liked it, but this is for only the most experimental smoothie buyers.

This product ticked a lot of boxes for anxious mums. Featuring the WWF logo and reasonably priced, it proved to be popular, even with kids.
This fortified juice drink bought at Aldi confused respondents who were unsure if it was an energy or a vitamin drink. “Neither refreshing nor healthy.”

A new healthy option that most were curious to try, as they had never eaten the fruit. Opinions were polarised, but the more adventurous 18-34 group remained the most interested in buying post-trial.

The familiar brand, pack design and bottle shape generated interest, but the thick consistency of the drink and a high price put consumers off. Could be an occasional purchase.
What do consumers want from juices and smoothies? Cambridge Fast Foodfax asks shoppers for their views
Put to the test: six recent launches (maximum score 50)Asda Jooce - Apple & Mango Fruit Juice Drink Score: 25 Category average: 33
Innocent Detox Beetroot, Apple, Pear & Ginger Score: 12 Category average: 29
Calypso Organic Orange Juice Drink Score: 42 Category average: 33
Optifit Vitamin Juice Drink Orange, Lemon & Carrot Score: 29 Category average: 29
Pomegreat Pomegranate Juice Drink Score: 33 Category average: 34
New Covent Garden Mango, Pineapple & Lychee Juice Drink Score: 30 Category average: 29
Produced for The Grocer by Cambridge Fast Foodfax®, an independent standardised new product testing service where a sample of 50 consumers rate new products across 10 key performance measures. Maximum score 50. Details on www.fast-foodfax.com.