Consumers in Southeast (SE) Asia, led by China, are avid juice purchasers. Their purchasing levels are higher than in the US or Japan and similar to European uptake. China’s dominance in the region is evident, accounting for nearly 90 percent of the value and volume and one-quarter of new product launches. Per capita juice consumption and annual growth of nine percent CAGR, 2010-2022F, are higher in China than in other countries in SE Asia. China also shows its own unique trends pattern pertaining to juice and juice drinks.
The sensory aspects of juices appeal to Chinese consumers surveyed. Consumers name changing tastes and increased variety as key drivers for increasing their juice and juice drink consumption; juice also appeals simply as a thirst quencher.
Other countries in the region are more influenced by health and nutrition. ‘Tapping into Texture,’ an Innova Market Insights 2020 Top 10 Trend, exemplifies the appeal of indulgent sensory features to the Chinese consumer. The example on the right is Yizhibi Mango Juice (China, Sep 2019), mango juice drink with thick fruit flavor, in a plastic bottle.
Chinese consumers are most likely to include juices and juice drinks at snack occasions and least likely to drink them with meals. This is consistent with the appeal of juices to the Chinese consumer for taste, variety and indulgence, product characteristics that are associated more with snacking than with meals.
In a nod to the connection between convenience and snacking, the 2020 trend ‘The Right Bite’ highlights the growing prevalence of single-serve bottles (500ml and under) for convenient grab-and-go consumption.
Although Chinese consumers rank health aspects behind flavor and brand in terms of importance and pay more attention to taste than health, they can choose products with “good for me” features. Market leaders are expanding their focus on healthy and functional beverages – in line with local demands. Examples of the above include: Minute Maid Hawthorn Juice Drink (China, Sep 2019), a hawthorn juice drink (local flavor) with added dietary fiber (18 percent of the RDA) and mulberry leaf extract (said to help lower blood sugar); in convenient single-serve bottles. Leyuan Xiaoguozhi Orange Juice Drink (China, Jul 2019), a children’s juice drink with added dietary fiber to help ‘normal intestinal function’; with 50 percent minimum fruit juice. Jingshantang Peach Juice Drink with Probiotics (China, Sep 2019), a fermented peach juice drink with lactobacillus plantarum probiotics.
Taiwan based Wei Chuan is expanding its focus on mainland China. Its juice is sold under the Daily C umbrella brand, which has been re-energized in China in recent years with the launch of new bottle designs to appeal to younger consumers. The 2020 trend ‘Plant Based Revolution’ captures the interest of Chinese consumers with blends of fruit juices and vegetable juices.
The top 2020 trend, ‘Storytelling: Winning with Words,’ appeals to the Chinese consumer with provenance stories of not-from-concentrate (NFC) and cold pressed. Based on its size alone, the Chinese market is likely to influence local and regional juice and beverage product development and trends in the years to come.
Category Insider: Juice & Juice Drinks – China and Southeast Asia is a report from Innova Market Insights, which brings together consumer research, market sizes, company analysis and a review of new product trends and activity to demonstrate just how the picture has been changing and to suggest where the future opportunities can be found.