Sales decline for sparkling juice drinks

Fruit sparkling juices
© / Kindel Media

In 2020, the sparkling juice drinks market registered a negative sales growth of -12.1% across the whole of Germany as compared to 2019, according to figures from the market research institute (IRI) for the food retail industry. They predominantly blame rising prices for the declining sales and revenue across the entire sparkling juice drink sector.

“This is due to a total price increase in the market of 15%, resulting in a revenue increase of 1.1% across Germany”, explains IRI beverage expert Jonas Scholz.

The sparkling juice drinks distribution channels are hypermarkets with over 800 m2 of sales floor space as well as discounters, which each accounting for approximately one third of the sparkling juice drink market share value. These both have implemented the sharpest price increases. Sales have declined across every channel, but in particular among discounters (in absolute terms) that have increased prices by over 20%, which is above average.

Sales and revenue trends in the sparkling juice market in 2020 as compared to the previous year (data source: IRI)

Breaking down the market into regions shows that sales have fallen in every region – in particular in Berlin and the North East, where revenue has also fallen. The west contributes the lion’s share (87%) of sparkling juice drinks revenue. Bavaria, the North West and North Rhine-Westphalia are the biggest revenue regions. However, Bavaria is the only one registering positive revenue growth. Average prices are rising considerably in every region, though more sharply in the east than the west.

Key to success for sparkling juice drinks: sustainability

In contrast, organic products remain popular and – where sold in sustainable reusable glass bottles – are even registering increased sales, bucking the general downward market trend. Consumers are clearly happier to pay a higher price for these products, as evidenced by numerous consumer surveys.

Manufacturers increasingly turning to glass containers

Increased demand at Carolinen for organic sparkling juice drinks in glass bottles

The brand Carolinen’s range includes the Gourmet sparkling apple juice drink that it sells to the catering industry in 12-packs of 0.75-liters and 24-packs of 0.25-liters in glass bottles designed by Luigi Colani. Saskia Huneke, the Head of Marketing at Carolinen, says “The stand-out in our sparkling juice drinks range is the Carolinen organic sparkling apple juice drink sold in a rather smart glass bottle”. It contains a mixture of sweet organic apple juice and Carolinen mineral water (natural mineral water with 50% apple juice from organic apples). This organic sparkling apple juice drink has no added sugar or sweeteners.

Carolinen sparkling apple juice drink is also sold in PET bottles (12-packs of 1.0-liter bottles). Beyond the classic apple version, they also sell a sparkling red fruit juice drink (in 12-packs of 1.0-liter PET bottles). This is made from mineral water flavored with red fruits (natural mineral water with 25% fruit content).  

Fritz-Spritz sparkling juice drinks are growing, bucking the trend

All Fritz-Spritz varieties are made from organic NFC juice with high fruit content (50% sparkling grape juice drink and 66% sparkling apple juice drink using organic NFC juice). The first sparkling vegetable juice drink (sparkling rhubarb) has a bittersweet taste and contains 40% organic NFC juice. Moreover, all Fritz range products are vegan. To ensure that its completely environmentally-friendly, the manufacturer minimizes the distances traveled from the bottler to consumers. Therefore, regional special editions, like the Fritz-Spritz sparkling apple juice drink from southern Germany, are sold only in their respective region.

In 2020, Fritz-Spritz sparkling juice drinks grew very well and increased 44% in revenue, bucking the market trend. The entire sparkling juice drink sector grew approximately 18% for products in reusable glass bottles as compared to 2019. Since the beginning, Fritz had only ever utilized small-sized reusable glass bottles. However, in October 2019, they noted the high demand for more container types and have since launched the Fritz-Spritz organic sparkling rhubarb juice drink in 0.5-liter bottles with a screw cap.

Hövelmann performs well despite market decline

Beverage group Hövelmann is known in the sparkling juice drink market for its nationwide brand Sinalco, its brand Rheinfels Quelle (primarily sold in North Rhine-Westphalia) and its regional brands Römerwall, Ardey Quelle and Felsensteiner. “Overall, we are pleased with the performance of our sparkling juice drinks range given the sharp market decline. However, individually our brands have performed quite differently”, says Managing Director Alexander Kolb. “The importance of maintaining business with the catering industry and utilizing our range of glass-bottled products has influenced sales.”

Sparkling apple juice drinks are also experiencing a “glass renaissance”. This has lead the Römerwall sparkling apple juice drink, sold in the “N2” bottle since October 2019, to boom in consumer popularity. Switching the Ardey sparkling apple juice drink to the new GDB glass bottle in January 2020 has also generated positive returns. In particular, it netted a double-digit sales increase with the “N2” bottle as compared to the beaded glass bottle used previously.

Lockdown measures have caused the Sinalco sparkling apple juice drink to drop significantly in sales for bottles used exclusively or frequently in the out-of-house market. Sales with PET bottles for home consumption have also been lower than 2019’s figures. The Felsensteiner sparkling apple juice drink, sold exclusively in 1.0-liter PET bottles, was also hit by the negative market trend.

Apple orange juice glass

“However,” says Alexander Kolb, “thankfully, the mild sparkling apple juice drink sold under the Rheinfels Quelle brand has been largely unaffected by the sparkling juice drink market trend”. Coronavirus restrictions have damaged catering sales, but most of the sparkling juice drink’s sales in terms of volumes come from the food and beverage retail industry. Sales using both 0.5-liter and 0.75-liter reusable PET bottles have considerably increased.

Regional ingredients focus

Christinen sparkling apple juice drink with apples from the Altes Land area

Gehring-Bunte Getränkeindustrie is sticking with the current Christinen sparkling apple juice drink marketed as “Altes Land”. Just over one year ago, the company changed the main ingredient. “We deliberately opted for a regionally-known apple variety from Germany. The Altes Land area, south of Hamburg, is one of the most famous and largest apple-producing regions in Europe”, says Managing Director Guido Grebe.

Christinen apple sparkling juice

End consumers have embraced the switch. Christinen Altes Land sparkling apple juice drink sales have increased by over 25%. In turn, the brand is bucking the general sparkling apple juice drinks market trend. “It seems that the flavor of the product, which has a 60% fruit content, and its regional credentials are making it a real hit”, says Guido Grebe. “Since we successfully made the switch, we no longer use organic apples as a main ingredient, which we formerly had as a second variety in our range for a specific container.”

The sparkling apple juice drink is available in reusable glass teardrop-shaped bottles (12-pack 0.75-liter), on-the-go plastic bottles (24-pack 0.33-liter) and slim glass bottles (24-pack 0.25 liter). The containers are PET single-use 0.5-liter (standard and vending machine bottles) and 1.0-liter bottles. An additional option is PET single-use 0.75-liter bottles supplied in reusable crates (12-pack).

Sparkling fruity thirst quenchers with Black Forest mineral water

The flavors of the sparkling juice drinks sold by Peterstaler Mineralquellen GmbH are classic apple and apple & cherry. They have at least 50% fruit content, made with natural Black Forest mineral water. The vegan sparkling juice drinks are made with no added sugar or sweeteners. They are sold in the following containers: 0.7-liter glass GDB bottles, 0.5-liter glass GDB bottles, 0.25-liter slim glass bottles, 1.0-liter PETcycle bottles and 0.5-liter PETcycle bottles. The coronavirus caused the sector to decline in 2020, which predominantly affected products sold in 0.5-liter bottles. According to the manufacturer, sparkling juice drinks and sweet beverages in general account for a much less of its business as compared to competitors.

Wide range of sparkling juice drinks on the market

The sparkling juice drink market offers many different products, for example organic varieties, low-calorie versions, as well as classic and exotic flavors. Therefore, the sales decline cannot be attributed to a lack of interesting or attractive beverages.

High-quality, naturally cloudy organic sparkling juice drinks

Neumarkter Lammsbräu sparkling juice drinks – 100% organic

Neumarkter Lammsbräu boasts both a classic flavor profile and an unusual favor profile with its BioKristall sparkling apple juice drink and its BioKristall sparkling apple & elderberry juice drink. Both utilize only certified organic mineral water and organic fruit from Germany, exceptionally high fruit content (at least 50%), and the sparkling juice drinks are naturally cloudy.

“We are seeing two developments. Like all food manufacturers, we are affected by the catering industry lockdown. This is hardly surprising. However, simultaneously, people are becoming increasingly concerned with optimum quality and real sustainability. Therefore, they are increasingly turning to our organic beverages in retail settings”, says Johannes Ehrnsperger, Owner and Managing Director of Neumarkter Lammsbräu. “Our certified organic mineral water enables us to offer truly 100% organic sparkling juice drinks. Our customers really appreciate that, and so BioKristall sparkling juice drinks are essential in our soft drinks range.”

Natural refreshment from Franz Josef Rauch

The long-established company Rauch, as part of its Franz Josef Rauch range of catering products, offers three organic sparkling fruit juice drinks: 100% organic naturally cloudy sparkling apple juice drink, organic sparkling blackcurrant juice drink, and organic naturally cloudy sparkling rhubarb juice drink. All three are made from NFC juice and stand out for their high fruit content. The unfiltered quality means that these sparkling juice drinks can quench people’s new-found thirst for naturally cloudy homegrown fruit varieties. Organic sparkling juice drinks offer natural refreshment and are a joy to drink, especially in the summer.

The modern-retro design and the on-trend long-neck bottle also make them perfect for trendy bars and restaurants. These drinks are certified organic and – like the entire Franz Josef Rauch range – certified vegan. The 0.33-liter reusable long-neck glass bottle also meets today’s sustainable packaging solutions.

Rhubarb sparkling juice

Low-calorie sparkling juice drinks with no added sugar

A classic sparkling juice drink and new on-trend products from Gerolsteiner

Gerolsteiner focuses on the most popular type of sparkling juice drinks: apple. However, they have also introduced some new on-trend products alongside their classic, including new flavors and low-calorie concepts. “In January 2021, we launched the new sub-brand Gerolsteiner Leichte Schorle (Gerolsteiner Light Sparkling Juice Drinks) in apple and apple & cherry”, says Marcus Macioszek, Head of Marketing at Gerolsteiner Brunnen GmbH & Co. KG. The light sparkling juice drinks consist of 30% fruit content and lightly carbonated Gerolsteiner mineral water. At 14 kcal per 100 ml each, their design prizes low calorie counts. Moreover, they contain 40% less sugar than standard sparkling apple juice drinks available on the market, and they have no added sugar or sweeteners.

Meeting the regional products trend, the company’s limited edition sparkling juice drinks, each produced from specific apple varieties, are made using Boskoop, Elstar and Braeburn apples from the Altes Land. These sparkling juice drinks taste different based on the specific apple variety and contain only 22 kcal/100 ml. “Based on the positive feedback we received last year regarding our sparkling juice drinks, each produced from a single apple variety, we are planning another limited edition for April 2021”, explains Marcus Macioszek. The containers for these light sparkling juice drinks are identical to those used for the sparkling juice drinks produced from a single apple variety, namely Gerolsteiner 0.5-liter PET single-use bottles. The bottles are made from 50% recycled PET.

Pure natural taste from RhönSprudel

RhönSprudel’s portfolio of sparkling juice drinks covers numerous concepts and flavor profiles. Front and center is their classic “Plus” range of sparkling juice drinks, with 60% fruit content and the very first pre-mixed sparkling apple juice drink “Apple Plus”. From March  onward, the company’s sparkling apple juice drink will also be available as a 12-pack of 0.75-liter individual glass bottles, a size that is currently experiencing rapid growth.

Apple sparkling juice bottle

The company’s mild sparkling juice drinks, utilizing fruits low in acid and which are only lightly carbonated, are easily digested. RhönSprudel ApfelGlück is a sparkling apple juice drink made from NFC juice extracted from local meadow orchard apples (GDB glass bottle). It satisfies consumer desires for more regional products. Furthermore, none of the manufacturer’s sparkling juice drinks contain any added sugar, artificial flavorings or preservatives.

Calorie-conscious consumers will enjoy the Leicht & Fruchtig (Light & Fruity) line, offering four light refreshment varieties with the balanced fruit content of 35%. Leicht & Fruchtig is purely natural, low in calories and has no artificial additives or sweeteners. During the summer, the Leicht & Fruchtig range will also feature an exciting give-away promotion: if consumers purchase two crates of RhönSprudel Leicht & Fruchtig, they will receive an environmentally friendly and attractive beeswax cloth free of charge.

Today’s glass containers and conscious consumption trend is clear, especially given the sustained growth of ApfelGlück, the company’s naturally cloudy sparkling apple juice drink made from NFC juice. Over the last 12 months, sales have improved by 15% as compared to the previous year.

Sparkling juice drinks with numerous flavor profiles

Beckers Bester: bitter, sweet and even exotic

Beckers Bester currently boasts five varieties (apple, rhubarb, currant, passion fruit and cherry), thereby covering numerous flavor profiles ranging from bitter to sweet and event exotic. All of its sparkling juice drinks are sold in 0.33-liter long-neck glass bottles. These are available as 4-packs in retail settings. According to the company, every variety is selling quite well.

The sparkling juice drinks certainly play an important role in the Beckers Bester portfolio, as Sebastian Koeppel, Managing Director of the company and great-grandson of founder Bertha Becker, explains: “It is a seasonal product that is particularly popular in the summer. This range also appeals to a younger target group who often cannot be reached with ‘pure juice’.”

Sparkling fruit juice drinks from Niehoffs Vaihinger

Be it on the terrace or in a beer garden during summer, or even during the cooler months, sparkling fruit juice drinks perfectly compliment any lunch, according to Niehoffs Vaihinger. Thanks to the practical ring pull cap, consumers can open the 0.33-liter long-neck bottles without a bottle opener.

Niehoffs Vaihinger sparkling fruit juice drinks come in four varieties, all with high fruit content: naturally cloudy organic sparkling apple juice drink made from NFC juice, fresh tropical sparkling grape & passion fruit juice drink, sharp and fresh sparkling rhubarb juice drink and the classic clear sparkling apple juice drink.

Fruity cold sparkling juice

Proviant sparkling juice drinks for the young, urban target group

Proviant focuses on well-established consumer favorites, like its sparkling apple juice drink, as well as new products such as its sparkling cherry & pomegranate juice drink, and its sparkling mango & passion fruit juice drink. Consumer demand have lead its sparkling juice drinks to boast natural credentials and are now made from pure organic fruit juice, water and a splash of lemon. Proviant’s sparkling apple juice drink forms part of the backbone of their portfolio. In 2018, two more varieties were added to expand the sparkling juice drinks range. According to Proviant, all three flavor profiles are doing well. In particular, the sparkling apple juice drink, a real golden oldie, must be hitting the nail on the head, as it boasts the highest sales in the sector.  

Proviant’s passion and expertise lie in the development and execution of remarkable sales and marketing strategies. Above all, they maintain a close eye on their top priority: meeting the needs of the young, urban target group. Berlin sets trends for Germany, Europe and the world as a whole. However, as a company headquartered in the capital city, it avoids fads or hype, rather focusing on creating high-quality, delicious products designed to meet long-term market and consumer requirements.


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Verlag W. Sachon

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