The functional drinks category is primarily aimed at adult consumers, and children have been largely overlooked by the segment, noted Katrina Graves, senior brand manager, Ocean Spray.
“We are really excited to bring a product with functional health benefits that are particularly relevant to children and their parents,”Graves told FoodNavigator-USA.
Ocean Spray’s four-SKU Growing Goodness line, which is sold nationwide at major retailers, contains 9g of sugar (from fruit juice) per 6.75-ounce Tetra Pak box and added nutrients for immune health (130% DV of vitamin C and 10% DV of zinc) and digestive health (3g of fiber per can of soluble corn fiber juice).
Sugar Content: What Are Parents Looking For?
While conversations about the sugar content of various products aimed at children have been at the center of parents’ concerns, Graves explained that the “No added sugar”Carries a lot of weight in many parents of young children who are looking for a balance rather than a total elimination of sugar from their family’s diet.
“We have half the sugar of the main juice drinks for children and no added sugar … For this target consumer, this is what we are looking for in terms of sugar content”,said Graves.
“We actually talked to pediatricians and dietitians [about sugar content in kids food and beverage products] and what they’re seeing is they’re moving away from that notion of ‘bad food’, especially with kids, ”Graves said.
“We don’t want to demonize any kind of ingredient, it’s about balance and healthy eating habits.”
“Cranberries can be a polarizing flavor for kids”
So how does the product resonate in the market?
“What was really exciting was that parents and kids loved Growing Goodness. We have really high repeat rates, very solid user reviews online, which means you’re doing something right if parents and kids are enjoying the product, “Graves noted.
Graves added that initial concerns about whether kids would enjoy the flavor of cranberries were quickly dispelled by consumer feedback.
“There has been a historical concept that cranberry can be a polarizing flavor for kids, but what we’re seeing is parents saying, ‘My kid loves this. They can’t get enough. And I’m actually surprised “,”she says.
Target a younger generation
Despite nationwide availability through major retailers and direct-to-consumer channels, Growing Goodness is still a relatively new brand for parents and families in the children’s beverage segment.
“It’s a whole new segment for us, which is really exciting. We strongly believe in the power of cranberries and its health benefits and this is our opportunity to introduce it to younger consumers and help them develop an affinity with our brand “,said Graves.
CHILDREN’S FOOD 2021
Interested in developments in the early childhood nutrition market and the children’s snack category? Then don’t miss our interactive online FOOD FOR KIDS series, which will take place on November 10 and 17, 2021. Register your interestto stay up to date with event updates, including announcements from speakers and opening registrations!