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Reporting on the continuing rise of superfruit, Innova Market Insights released information about this segment’s growth in the marketplace. The company saw a 10% rise in products marketed as superfruit in the 12-month period leading up to May 2011, with the soft drink sector taking the lion’s share of the new launch claims while sectors such as confectionary, dairy, fruit and vegetables, and desserts and ice cream are also getting in on the superfruit action.
In regard to types, pomegranate is a leader, accounting for more than 40% of the launches, while fruits such as acai, goji, and berries were also notable inclusions. In the US, Innova recorded the highest levels of product activity in pomegranate, ahead of blueberry, although interest in acerola also appeared to be increasing, and there was ongoing interest in goji. UK launches were focused strongly on pomegranate and berries, particularly cranberries, blueberries and acai, while Germany saw rising levels of interest in sea buckthorn.
New fruits are also emerging on the superfruit bandwagon, all focusing on high levels of antioxidants and often moving into food and drinks following a period of launches in supplement form. The maqui berry from Chile (Aristotelia chilensis), also known as the Chilean wineberry, is one example of this trend.
Lu Ann Williams, head of research for Innova Market Insights, noted that with so many different types of tropical and exotic fruits, it is difficult to predict where the new success stories will come from. But what is almost predictable is there will continue to be new varieties put forward as the market develops, and these will have to compete alongside more established and familiar varieties. “The ability to supply the quantities needed and market their multiple benefits successfully will be key to their future, as well as the willingness of mainstream food and drinks companies to take them up as ingredients in their products,” she said.