FRESHY: A REFRESHING ALTERNATIVE
How can budding fruit juice companies make it in Asia? One company shares its experience.
The growing health and wellness consciousness among young consumers, plus the increased adoption of modern packaging technologies and product innovations, are powering Cambodian juice manufacturer Freshy to secure stronger foothold in the constantly growing fruit and vegetable juice market. This company currently offers Freshy Orange Juice, Freshy Apple Juice, Freshy Grape Juice, Freshy Mixed Fruit Juice and Freshy Soybean Drink.
“Freshy predicts that there will soon be a collective health-conscious outlook among Cambodians,” says Vladimir Rubis, the company’s overseas advertising manager and creative director. “That mindset is now growing especially among the young and progressive Cambodians who are rapidly adapting to shifting lifestyles and influences. There is a rising demand for a good and healthy juice drink as alternative to carbonated drinks and we see Freshy as a premium and healthy alternative to the ever-changing consumer tastes.”
Riding on the growth trend in the fruit juice market, this company is also investing in the latest packaging technologies designed to reduce cost and to contribute towards green efforts. The company is adopting The Tetra Pak Packaging Technology and transitioning from 206 neck diameter cans to 202 neck diameter cans.
“We continuously evaluate our packaging and always look for new technologies and trends. The plan to implement The Tetra Pak Packaging Technology is set and initial designs were already made,” reveals Mr. Rubis. “And later this year or by early 2017, we will switch from 206 cans to 202 cans to reduce cost.” But he adds, “What will not change is our commitment to produce premium quality products made from real fruits and high-quality ingredients.”
Knowing, likewise, that product innovations and overseas expansion are major means of fueling demand for their products, Freshy has embarked on various strategic initiatives with the recent launch of new flavors Freshy Mixed Fruit Juice and Freshy Soybean Drink.
With their products currently being exported to Vietnam, the company is also looking at establishing operations in other neighboring countries by opening their doors to potential distributors, importers and retailers, which they can collaborate with as business partners.
“The company has experienced positive growth over the years with Freshy Juice contributing 20-25 percent of the overall business. We expect a significant growth in the future from our export operations and extended product line,” says Mr Rubis. He further states that improvements will continue to be a company focus and will be supported by additional investments in research and development.
Best global sources for flavors
Freshy is driven by its philosophy – 100 percent from Real Fruit. “With no chemical additives, no preservatives and produced according to the highest international standards under HACCP and ISO, we aim to create premium quality products that will satisfy consumer’s desire for a real fruit juice,” says Mr Rubis.
Freshy also uses fruit juice concentrates because the sources are abundant overseas but not in Cambodia. “We carefully select the best sources of fruit concentrates from the countries that grow and produce the best oranges, apples and grapes. We import concentrates from New Zealand for Freshy Apple, Brazil for Freshy Orange and Spain for Freshy Grape.”
To ensure stable supply of its fruit concentrates, the company maintains strong partnership with reliable global suppliers and sources.
A challenging product category
Juice is among the most favored drinks across all ages, and as lifestyle changes reflect health consciousness, the consumption of juice is increasing to become a part of people’s everyday nutrition.
Industry experts see the fruit and vegetable juice market as a challenging product category within the beverage industry largely in part to consumers heightened understanding and inclination towards healthy products.
Innovations are in the form of fortification with vitamins and minerals, no sweetener or diet juice and convenient packaging. Major brands are supported by slick marketing campaigns and efficient supply chain.
In terms of flavors, orange juice is number one in preference with roughly 30 percent of worldwide demand. The mixed juices variant is trending as well.
Dealing with opportunities and challenges
Mr Rubis discloses that the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 opened prospects for Freshy as it expands its export operations, which is now on its second year.
The AEC opportunity is a sizeable market worth US$ 2.6 trillion and over 600 million people. It is the third largest economy in Asia and the seventh largest in the world.
“The influx of imported juice drink brands is a big challenge but Freshy is ready,” says Mr. Rubis. “We welcome the competition even from outside of our product category such as water, carbonated soft drinks, coffee and energy & sports drinks.”
“We are consistently addressing these challenges by keeping a close eye on the market landscape and assessing our direct and indirect competitors. Freshy creates its plans and strategies with the future in mind.”