CHICAGO — Remember frozen juice concentrate? What about 64-oz cans of Hi-C, or when “pink” grapefruit juice was considered exotic? A lot has changed in the juice beverage business in the past 25 years, much out of necessity. The category needed a makeover to stay competitive and keep consumers drinking juice.
Today, juices are being used in combination with other better-for-you ingredients to improve their nutritional value. Many beverages emphasize ingredient sourcing while others promote the juicing process. In some instances, the juice serves as a flavor or sweetening ingredient to a different base beverage.
DanoneWave, White Plains, N.Y., for example, debuted a first for the fluid milk category about a year ago. Sir Bananas combines banana puree juice with reduced-fat milk. The ultra-pasteurized beverage is 20% bananas and comes in two varieties: Bananamilk and Chocolate Bananamilk. Sir Bananas is sweetened by the banana and a small amount of cane sugar, with natural vanilla rounding the flavor profile.