Innova: Cherries on their way to superfruit status

by Staff
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DUIVEN, THE NETHERLANDS — Increased research about the health benefits of cherries is putting them into the “superfruit” category, and they are increasingly being used in juices and juice beverage blends, according to Innova Market Insights.

Orange and apple still top the fruit juice market globally, but cherries were featured in about 7% of juice and juice beverages launches in 2011, up from 4% five years previously. Many of these launches are in the form of blends with other juices, but there are an increasing number of pure cherry juice products. Pure cherry juices are also sometimes specifying if it’s a sour or tart and even indicating the variety. North America accounted for 16% of juice beverages containing cherry. Research also has shown cherries have high antioxidant content, and research is focusing on potential benefits including reducing inflammation, painkilling and improving sleep quality.

“Cherry juices are clearly increasing in popularity and increasingly carrying a ‘superfruits’ branding in wake of a growing body of research linking sour cherries to a whole range of health benefits,” said Lu Ann Williams, research manager for Innova Market Insights. “This, combined with their unique sweet-sour taste properties, looks set to boost demand and carry cherries still further up the rankings in terms of soft drinks flavor use.”

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