New product: Mandies

Australia’s biggest juice company, Berri, is about to be taken over by a Filipino company, San Miguel. It’s a damned shame really since the company has a long history as a growers’ cooperative and has developed into a good marketing organisation with the potential to export successfully. Ah well. Here’s a new product idea for their parent company.

Orange juice is the volume product in juice sales (90% of fruit juice produced is orange juice) but I’ve never heard of a mandarin juice. Have you ever tasted it? I suspect the reason one has not been produced is that growers yield more for “eating fruit” than “juicing fruit”. If your oranges are not eating quality they are downgraded and sold as juicing oranges. What happens to the mandarins that are not eating quality? Betchya they get thrown out; there is no secondary market.

The growth segment in the orange juice market is fresh juice. A fresh mandarin juice would have novelty value. Not only that but a fair number of people prefer eating mandarins to oranges. They would be certain to trial the product. People would expect this to be a boutique product so it could sustain a premium price. I would package it in very small containers (like Yakult). The juice is sweeter and richer than orange juice so a small serve would work best. And small, high priced drinks would work well in the route trade. The only tricky issue would be the short shelf life of the products.

Mandarins are known colloquially (and affectionately) as mandies. That should be the brand name. It is not yet registered as a trade mark (check here non-believers). No charge, fellas.

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