HELATH-CONSCIOUS CONSUMERS DRIVE SALES IN JUICER MARKET
NEW YORK-In-home juicing is again on an uptrend as Americans pay closer attention to nutritional information and take matters of health into their own hands.
Juicing built a strong and healthy reputation in the 1980s and early 1990s when the trend for a healthier lifestyle was in full swing. But sales fell off slightly for the market toward the end of the decade, as financially sound consumers turned to the ever-growing number of juice bars that grew up around the country. Vendors said as Americans now realize they are still battling serious weight and health issues, they have started to read more about what they put into their bodies.
“Food labels are being looked at very carefully and people are now realizing the sugar and fat content in many of the fruit bars’ `health’ drinks are a lot higher than they thought,” said Lisa Pappas, product manager for Oster products at Sunbeam, which offers both citrus juicers and juice extractors, sometimes referred to in the market as “healthy juicers.”
“The Food and Drug Administration has been bombarding Americans with communications that focus on the importance of fruits and vegetables in daily diet,” Pappas said.
Time-starved consumers have recognized that juicing is a simple solution to getting their recommended daily dosage of nutrients. “Health-conscious consumers are looking for easy, creative ways to increase their consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Brian Maynard, director of integrated marketing for KitchenAid, which entered the juicing category a little more than a year ago with a juice extractor that features a citrus juicing attachment, combining the two popular features into one machine.
It was agreed that consumer attention to diet detail has helped the market for juicers, both healthy and citrus, to regain some of the momentum it lost in recent years. As a result, more vendors are becoming involved in the category.
“We wanted to have one of our own because the market is more than $14 million for the last year,” said Walter Tafarello, product manager for kitchen electrics at DeLonghi, which made a citrus juicer part of the launch of its recent Cucina line of products. “We see the market increasing and there are not a lot of brands available now.”
DeLonghi also offers a juice extractor attachment with the Kenwood stand mixer it reintroduced at the same time as the Cucina line.
Another company offering attachments or freestanding machines is Bosch, which introduced a citrus juicer as the most recent product in its F.A. Porsche-designed collection of kitchen electrics. The juicing attachment here is one of the accessories available for the company’s Kitchen Machine.
Marni Rader, product manager for small appliances at Bosch, pointed out that while juicing may be more popular “in health-conscious areas like California, it’s been gaining popularity and I think that will continue.”
Vendors claimed that Salton has held nearly 25 percent of the market share with its Juiceman series of products, and with no other brand coming near that, they feel it is an area ripe for competition. The Juiceman still tends to be the product that consumers relate to best when considering the category, however, and it therefore still garners the prime display space in retailers such as Macy’s East.
At retail, pricing has also proven an issue for the category and while many see prices for the higher end products coming down, there is still a wide range to choose from. Opening price points at Oster can be charted at $19.99 while the shopper in the market for Bosch’s Porsche model is looking at a price tag of $249. But even at the higher end, juicing at home eventually is more economical than frequenting juice bars, which charge $5 and more a visit. And the strained economy has found more and more consumers electing to make their own, vendors said.
The holidays are expected to be a strong time for the category as many of the juicers on the market fall into a good price range for gift giving.