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Drinking to Your Health

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A scan of the headlines over the last few days point to a couple interesting food trends: the growth of the super-premium juice business and the emergence of medical foods.

Juice it up
This weekend, Barrons news called attention to the battle for the fresh juice business, which is heating up as big established brands try to stake their claim to the growing market for super-premium fruit and veggie juices. The market was worth some $2.25 billion in 2011, up 58% since 2004 according to Beverage Marketing.

JambaGo Drink Station

A few of the groups getting involved:
1. Starbucks just opened its first Evolution Fresh stores after acquiring the company in November. It plans to do for fresh juice what it did for coffee.
2. Campbell Soup acquired Bolthouse Farms to bolster its V8 line and court millenials “who are particularly drawn to healthy and on-the-go foods.”
3. Jamba Juice is expanding its fresh squeezed offerings and opening a raw juice concept store later this year. It’s also worth mentioning the pilot program for JambaGo – a healthy food and juice station for K-12 campuses.

Medical foods
In an interesting announcement, the Wall Street Journal reported that Nestle Health Science has acquired an unspecified stake in Accera, a “brain health” food company. Accera’s milkshake product “produced significant cognitive improvements in some patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.” And Nestle isn’t alone in looking to this future….France’s Danone is also studying the effects of its own medical food for Alzheimer’s, called Souvenaid.

Axona Medical Food for Alzheimer’s

Both of these products are an example of Medical Food, which is an FDA-regulated product which is “formulated to be consumed or administered enterally under the supervision of a physician” because it is “intended for the specific dietary management of a disease or condition.”

This relatively new category blurs the line between food supplements and pharmaceuticals, and is something we should expect to hear more about in coming years.

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One thought on “Drinking to Your Health

  1. Even though all of this is moving in the right direction, very little of these juices are organic. Evolution is like Whole Foods itself, they look good on the surface but when you look closer, they’re not as good as they originally appeared. In August, the height of Summer, a wide variety of offerings of organic fruits is just not available and in the case of Jamba, virtually none exists. Same with even Starbucks coffee–with so much organic coffee available, they can’t manage to figure out the economics of getting them into their stores.

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