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Asia Pacific: Japan, China lead in demand for vegetable juices, finds report

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The Asian region, driven by Japan and China, accounts for 55% of the total vegetable juice market, according to a Canadean report.

This is followed by North America with 18% and East Europe with 17%.

Vegetable-flavored drinks accounts for the majority of the juice category in Japan, with vegetable variants and pure tomato juice being the most popular flavors.

Health conscious Japan

Beverage analyst Javier Gutierrez said Japanese consumers are becoming more conscious about a healthier lifestyle and vegetable beverages (particularly tomato) are likely to continue growing in the future.

“With health and wellness trends taking an important role in consumer purchasing habits, vegetable-flavored beverages will see its share increase over the coming years.”

Tomato juice in particular recorded phenomenal growth in Japan in 2012.

A study from the Kyoto University with Del Monte (Kikkoman) showed that tomatoes accelerate the burning of fat and help prevent metabolic syndromes.

The study, which was widely covered in the Japanese media, caused a jump in sales with supermarket chains across Japan, reporting 50% increase in product sales.

Demand to grow in North, Latin America

Besides Asia, Canadean predicts that North America and Latin America will play a major role in the growth of this segment, driven by new products entering the market which claim they include nutritional and healthy properties.

In the US, vegetable flavors increased significantly in 2012 due to small brands, such as Evolution Fresh (Starbucks), and established brands, such as Bolthouse Farms, increasing their reach across the country.

Vegetable variants products outperformed those that were tomato juice-based, and it is likely this trend will continue in the near future.

“Although this a niche segment compared to other flavors, there is no doubt that vegetable-based beverages will continue to experience strong growth in the regions where they are predominant and gaining interest from health conscious consumers,” said Gutierrez.

The health and wellness trend will play a major role in the segment’s success, together with increased availability, new flavor offerings and its fashionable image.

Globally, there will be a slow rise of vegetable beverages, affected by decreasing volumes in Europe where premium prices and low availability are limiting the segment’s development.