Bösch Boden Spies launches reduced sugar cranberry juice concentrate amid demand for low-sugar, functional beverages

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24 Jan 2019 --- The beverage market is changing; more and more consumers are looking for healthy thirst quenchers that are low in sugar and high on added functional value. In response to these market trends, Hamburg-based ingredients specialist Bösch Boden Spies has added a new product to its range: Ocean Spray’s 50° Brix cranberry concentrate, which the company pegs as having numerous formulation advantages.  

According to the company, traditional juices and spritzers are having a challenging time in the market. New product concepts are in demand and Bösch Boden Spies believes that Ocean Spray's 50° Brix cranberry concentrate offers drinks manufacturers the basis for this. 

The product is characterized by a unique production process whereby fewer turbidity-forming ingredients are transferred into the concentrate. As a result, it is particularly color-stable and can be easily mixed with other beverages without flocculating.  

Click to EnlargeAdding this cranberry concentrate to juices, for example, can significantly reduce the sugar content of the beverages, says Bösch Boden Spies. The products taste “tart and exotic” with a natural, light sweetness. At the same time, the subtle cranberry taste enhances the flavors of the other fruits.  

The cranberry concentrate increases the antioxidant content in a beverage and their attractive red color gives beverages containing cranberry a visual appeal as well. 

Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Natalia Willner, Marketing Manager at Bösch Boden Spies, notes that reducing sugar can be challenging as can the right choice of fruits to be blended with. “Cranberry brings an astringent acidity blending very well with rather ‘bland’ juices,” she says. 

“The beverage industry, including the juice industry, needs to cope with the consumers’ growing awareness of sugars in their diet. Forty-eight percent of consumers are concerned by sugar in beverages and are actively choosing drink options with a lower or no sugar amount,” Willner explains. 

Wanting to drink something that quenches thirst, gives an exciting taste experience and reduces bad carbs – these are all-in-one goals that consumers are looking for, she says. 

Looking ahead, Willner highlights that the beverage industry will likely see further developments towards transparency, sustainability and healthy options. “We have been observing a rise of natural food and drink colors in the market in the last years and are confident that this development is further on the rise,” she continues. “Redefining beverages and reinventing sweetness are further subjects. It is not necessary to exchange sugar by natural sweeteners with the same amount of calories. Artificial sweeteners are also less accepted.”

“The industry needs to bring solutions simply by reinventing their category,” she adds. 

Meanwhile, there are plenty of opportunities for cranberry concentrate in the colors space. “The vibrant color, refreshing taste and the health benefits of cranberry juice offer a lot of opportunities, for where a 100 percent natural taste, color or health impact is needed for the application,” notes Willner. Click to Enlarge

“We see significant growth in a wide variety of colors appearing on the shelves. And while that is a development we have seen in the past few years, we can now see the big tendency to achieve this wide variety of colors by natural ingredients that have been included to reformulate a product.”

Consumers are eating with their eyes and their minds, Willner adds. 

She also notes that redefinition of portion sizes is becoming more apparent: “The snack revolution does not stop in the food industry and we see a lot of different shot sizes for beverages, which give the consumer the opportunity to enjoy and indulge, conveniently on the go but in moderation,” notes Willner. 

Additionally, the demand for lower-alcohol/no alcohol beverages is something that Bösch Boden Spies is increasingly observing. Willner says that consumers aim for a healthier lifestyle, especially within the millennial consumer group: “Seventy-three percent of millennials are trying to reduce their intake of alcohol. There is a higher interest in crafted soft drinks which means that we see a shift from the beer industry,” she concludes. 

By Elizabeth Green

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