Orange juice continues to be in high demand, both by the domestic and the international markets. This was explained by the commercial director of Zumex Group, Manfred Berbel.
"The founding of our firm is strongly linked to orange juice, as Zumex came to be after the development of an innovative squeezing system for citrus: our Original System®. This allowed us to launch the first professional automatic juicer for the hospitality industry. Thus, from the beginning, we gained a global reputation as a developer of innovative technologies for the squeezing of fruits and vegetables." In fact, the various models of citrus juicers, whether intended for oranges, grapefruits, lemons or mandarins, continue to be Zumex's flagship products.
The increasingly important promotion of healthy diets and trends in Anglo-Saxon countries, as well as in central and northern Europe, has been giving a boost to the consumption of fruit and vegetable juices. "There is a juice culture that is spreading and which demands other types of solutions, such as MULTIFRUIT, our line of professional blenders, or MASTERY our cold press machine," says the commercial manager.
According to Manfred Berbel, nutrition experts point out that juices, especially freshly-squeezed fresh ones, contain a wide range of antioxidants and bioactive compounds, which make them a healthy option as part of a varied and balanced diet. "They have numerous beneficial effects, such as the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, cancer or neurodegenerative processes, among others. Orange juice, for example, is rich in minerals and vitamins (Vitamin C, Potassium, Folic acid, etc.).
Given that the healthy and the quickly-accessible currently define our consumption habits, freshly-squeezed orange juice is experiencing a great growth compared to other categories. It is a "healthy" trend that is motivated by campaigns that recommend consuming at least 5 pieces of fruits and vegetables a day, with one glass of 100% fresh orange juice being one of them."
All this has entailed the growing demand not only of fruit juices made from apples, pears, pineapples, peaches, red fruits or exotic fruits, such as mangoes, but also the use of vegetables in the so-called detox or green juices. Beetroot, celery, spinach, carrots, cucumbers or lettuce are some of the ingredients that are commonly used in juice bars.
Consumption of fresh juices on the rise, not only in retail and HORECA channels
"The consumption of fresh juices is on the rise, and Zumex has been introducing the concept of freshly-squeezed juice in big distribution chains all over the world for more than a decade." This new lifestyle is more than just a trend and we believe that it is here to stay. For this reason, Zumex offers solutions to the retailer or HORECA establishments in order to meet this new demand," he says. "Moreover, we have been pioneers in developing integral solutions for the juice business. We have given a boost to the concept of freshly-squeezed juice made by the consumer, helping retailers in analysing the new consumption drivers. More and more people are interested in choosing healthy products and caring for their diet, and this can help us maximise the sector's growth."
Even though large distributors and the HORECA channel are its main customers, the sale of juicing machines is growing and diversifying to other segments, such as office centres, education centres or sports areas.
"We still have a long way to go in the world of large-scale distribution, but we are also reaping great success in high-traffic public spaces, such as airports, stations, sports venues or companies with our vending machines. It is an expanding business.
"Retailers in Mediterranean countries have joined later"
We have been present in many stores of large retailers in many countries for more than a decade. Chains such as Albert Heijn in Belgium and the Netherlands, Coop in Switzerland, Edeka in Germany or Carrefour and Auchan in France have been implementing our squeezing solutions in their premises.
In Europe, the markets are more mature when it comes to freshly-squeezed juices, while in the Mediterranean basin, this trend has arrived later. "The greatest growth corresponds to the Nordic, central European and Anglo-Saxon regions. Paradoxically, in the Mediterranean, where we have the best raw materials, the juice culture has been slow to arrive and the demand for freshly-squeezed juices at large retailers has been rising in recent years. This is the case of Spain, where we have been working with several retailers for a while, but which has taken a little longer than other European countries to bet on this trend.
What are customers looking for in the juice-squeezing machines?
"The customers of our machines are usually professionals who demand solutions for squeezing with a functional and long-lasting design. They want ease of use and a high performance, as well as a good technical service and a premium guarantee. As for the consumers of our freshly-squeezed fresh juices, they appreciate the juice having the best flavour and it being free of essential oils, but they also look for a sensorial experience. We aim to give them that by developing specific spaces for our customers," explains Manfred.