Nutritional Outlook

Nutritional Outlook, December 2016

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44 Superfruits Tell Me a Story "Superfruits are made, not born," New Nutri- tion Business's Mellentin says. "Tey're the product of a deliberate strategy, and not the produce you fnd growing on a tree." You can say that again. As SPINS' Lanners puts it, "consumers aren't captivated exclu- sively by the nutritional makeup of super- fruits, but are smitten with their stories, as well." A fnely tuned narrative, she says, "fa- cilitates consumer trust and generates buzz. And when you can assign a legendary value to a product, it becomes even more enticing." In other words, backstory counts. "When a consumer learns the backstory of a product like goji," she says, "they tend to gravitate to- ward testing it." Tis almost makes superfruits edible ambassadors of culture. "Te trend gives us interesting glances at diferent cultures and regions with local or forgotten fruits that become accessible and known to everyday consumers," Frutarom's Gutierrez says. And with the functional food industry "head- ing toward a more local, traditional, and cultural approach," she says, "superfruits ft right in." Convenience Is King It's no coincidence that many superfruits rose to stardom thanks to beverages. "Su- perfruit beverages," New Nutrition Business's Mellentin says, "are fruits at their most con- venient." And if a superfruit's not convenient, he warns, "you'd better make it so." Consider the pomegranate. Tere's no denying the in- genuity that POM Wonderful put into turn- ing an unwieldy, husky Mediterranean fruit into a wildly popular ready-to-drink bever- age and snack-pack of seeds. With consumers "drinking less volume and looking for functional, healthy, fresh stuf," Euromonitor's Lee adds, superfruit bever- ages need to be convenient and efcient in delivering the nutrition consumers seek. A new formulation trend she's noticed is "the blending of fruits and vegetables—spinach, pumpkin, sweet potato, et cetera—which naturally reduces the sugar content. Tis is called the 'drinkable salad bowl.'" Stepping away from beverages, Mellentin notes that it's also helpful when a super- fruit is naturally snackable, like blueberries. "Tat makes it easier for people to try it," he says. "Blueberries' massive convenience advantage over apples and their more consumer-friendly packaging—small 150-g packs—coupled with widely communicated high-antioxidant health benefts, enables them to achieve super-premium prices." Targeted Appeal Another "modern trend" that favors the su- perfruit, Lee says, is consumers' penchant for choosing foods "specifc to their individual health needs." And with those health needs so divergent, "specifc superfruits should be targeted to diferent consumer segments." Alas, consumers' understanding of super- fruit benefts varies just as widely. "Some fruits are better than others," Frutarom's Gutierrez points out. "Some have more of 'this,' others more of 'that'—but it's all about balance." Tat puts the onus on marketers to fne- tune formulations when targeting super- fruits to a specifc audience. Further, Guti- errez notes, "Whenever a supplier attempts to transform superfruits into powders or extracts, they need to deliver ingredients DECEMBER 2016 ■ NUTRITIONAL OUTLOOK Blueberry Matin/SHUttERStOCK.COM

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