Wild is extending offering of fruit and vegetable juice compounds by using new kinds of produce, like pumpkins and bell peppers, in a bid to halt shrinking sales in the orange-carrot drinks category in Germany.
The vitamin drink market emerged in the 1980s, and Wild takes the credit for taking it to the next level with the introduction of its orange-carrot compounds fortified with provitamin A and vitamins C and E (ACE) in 1993.
Wild cited data from GfK ConsumerScan that indicates sales of beverages in the overall ACE category fell in the first half of 2007 by 12.5 per cent.
"Although this ACE drink category has been a top seller, its popularity now appears to be waning," said the company.
This has caused the company to innovate to help manufacturers make products that counter flavour boredom and are in line with new trends. New mixtures it is now offering include grapefruit-orange-yellow carrot, apricot-peach-carrot-pumpkin, and red berries-red peppers.
The beverage innovator is also tapping into the trend towards natural products, since the fruit and veg contained in the beverages are, in their own right, sources of vitamins and minerals.
This is a departure from an earlier tactic for the vitamin-fortified category, where added vitamin may have been from companies producing them synthetically.
The new Fruit and Veggie drinks take their vitamin C from citrus fruit or from acerola cherry, and the provitamin A from carrot juice concentrate.
Vitamin E, meanwhile, comes from soybean oil, which is concentrated to remove the aftertaste.
In terms of colours, the orange-carrot drinks were typically bright orange in colour. The new Fruit & Veggie drinks, by contrast, range from light yellow to dark red.
The issue of countering what he called 'organoleptic boredom' was recently highlighted by flavour industry consultant Danny Hodrien at the SAFC symposium in Grasse.
He noted that manufacturers are turning to more and more exotic superfruits as they try to keep consumers interested. In addition to being different, these ingredients are also welcomed for their health benefits.
The article has been amended from the original published on November 30, which stated that sales of Wild's ACE product had fallen by 12.5 per cent in the first six months of this year. In fact, the data refers to the ACE category in Germany at large.