In China’s mature fruit juice market, innocent (Chinese Name: naive), backed by Coca Cola, is becoming a new consumer brand with a momentum that cannot be underestimated.
“Since entering the Chinese market in 2020, innocent naive has increased 3-4 times every year. This year and in the next few years, it is expected to maintain the momentum of doubling its annual performance in the Chinese market, with an average annual growth of 2-4 times.” Jocelyn Zhao, general manager of innocent China, told xiaoshidai today that innocent has entered many online and offline channels, including about 6000 Starbucks stores across the country.
Although the scale is still small, this growth rate is remarkable. Xiaoshidai introduced that this fruit juice brand, which was born in London, England more than 20 years ago, is one of Coca Cola’s brands with an annual revenue of more than $1billion. After becoming the number one refrigerated fruit juice brand in Europe, innocent has set its sights on the “huge potential” Chinese market.
Jocelyn Zhao, general manager of innocent China
Today, this fruit juice brand, which has always been very good at playing, has used a new trick: it has opened a flash store in Shanghai, “picky fruit juice store”, to teach consumers how to “carefully select a bottle of fruit juice” in an interesting way. In the separate video connection communication with xiaoshidai, Jocelyn further talked about innocent’s new product plan, channel strategy, unique brand competition entry point, etc.
Let’s pay attention.
In the fruit juice circuit, innocent first wants to build a “picky” human design in terms of product power.
“Our original intention to open this flash store is to encourage everyone to put forward high requirements for fruit juice. Innocent is willing to become a witness to the upgrading of the fruit juice consumption market.” Jocelyn said. The fruit juice company believes that consumers should take the fancy to pick fruit to criticize fruit juice, and drinking fruit juice should be like drinking fruit: no sugar, no water, “no strange things”.
This “proud and charming” confidence comes from Innocent’s confidence in its product raw materials and formulas. Jocelyn told xiaoshidai that the company has employees who are specially responsible for finding good fruits around the world. Internally, they are called “guotan”. At present, all innocent fruit juices sold in China are imported from different countries.
Innocent “picky juice store”
With the latest listing in June this year“
“Just one month after its launch, the performance of pineapple juice is close to that of orange juice and apple juice.” Jocelyn told xiaoshidai, “because the most popular fruit juice taste in China is orange juice, and the second is apple juice, the next taste is followed by the size gap between the two is quite large, so our pineapple juice can be comparable to our current orange juice and apple juice in a short time, which can be said to be quite popular.”
Interestingly, although it can also be broadly divided into NFC refrigerated fruit juice, innocent emphasizes that its smoothie series products are directly “beaten” by more than five kinds of fruits, not squeezed, and contain more pulp and fiber, so its products are divided into two categories: fresh beaten raw fruit series and NFC fruit juice series.
In the flash store opened today, innocent has put on the shelves all seven products it has listed in China so far, including three innocent fresh dozen original fruit products with different flavors – which is also the first ready to drink product of “pure fruit smoothie” in the Chinese market, and four NFC fruit juices, namely orange juice, apple juice, coconut water and pineapple juice.
Jocelyn told xiaoshidai that next year will be the “new product launch year” for innocent in the Chinese market.
“Our new product plan mainly has two directions: one is to select some widely recognized product lines from Innocent’s more than 100 existing products in Europe and introduce them to China; the other is to create a new product line and taste tailored for Chinese consumers, which is more grounded.” She said.
She said that according to the plan, NFC juice is expected to launch new products next year. In addition, next year, several new series specially developed for the Chinese market will be launched one after another, “in this regard, we will have a lot of cooperation with Coca Cola’s R & D team, with their local insight”.
Innocent NFC juice series
When asked about some consumers’ concerns about the sugar content of fruit juice, Jocelyn told snack generation, “we are very honest about the fact that NFC fruit juice comes from the natural sugar content of fruit, but what innocent does is not add additional sugar. At the same time, we believe that the pursuit of health is to maintain a dynamic balance between balanced diet, intake and consumption.”
But it seems that innocent is also trying to reduce sugar. Xiaoshidai introduced that in March last year, innocent launched a new super smoothies light series in the UK. It is said that its natural sugar content is less than its original product line
Back to coke
Unlike other new fruit juice consumer brands, innocent has a strong backing: Coca Cola.
Xiaoshidai said that by constantly diversifying its product portfolio, Coca Cola, a carbonated beverage giant, has become “the world’s largest juice company”, and innocent is one of its “incorporated” generals. According to the data, Coca Cola has invested in this brand since 2009, and has wholly owned innocent by 2013.
Although it belongs to Coca Cola system, the London based juice company has always maintained its independent operation. At the company level, the working mode between innocent and Coca Cola is “connected but not integrated”. This is also the usual practice adopted by Coca Cola over the years when the acquired business is different from the basic business, such as Costa coffee.
“The huge potential of the Chinese market is also a position that no brand will give up. Like us in other markets around the world, Coca Cola has always been a very friendly and supportive investor for the development of innocent’s business in China. The development of innocent in China over the past two years is difficult to achieve without the support and encouragement of Coca Cola.” Jocelyn said.
Backed by Coca Cola innocent, we are confident to expand the NFC juice segment in China.
“The whole fruit juice market is 140billion, and now NFC fruit juice accounts for a small proportion of it, but the growth rate of NFC in the past 6-8 years is 4-5 times that of the whole fruit juice market. We observed that, especially in the post epidemic period, consumers pay more and more attention to the healthy and natural diet. Therefore, the potential of the whole NFC fruit juice track is very large.” Jocelyn said.
She told xiaoshidai that the biggest challenge now is that many consumers do not know the difference between NFC and FC juice, which requires many brands to work together to educate consumers. “Innocent hopes to work with other brands to make this cake bigger, which will not be achieved overnight. In addition, in addition to conventional NFC juice, we are also developing a new sub category: fresh raw fruit.” She said.
According to the data, “NFC juice” is processed in a low temperature environment after the fruit is directly pasteurized after being squeezed. Due to the short heating time in the processing process of this fresh juice, the nutrition loss is relatively small, and the original flavor of fresh fruit is better maintained, but the disadvantage is suitable for low temperature preservation, relatively short shelf life and high cost. At present, most of the common fruit juice drinks on the market are recovered from concentrated fruit juice.
As soon as the conversation changed, Jocelyn emphasized to the snack generation that this does not mean that innocent will only be limited to NFC juice. “We have always adhered to the positioning of health drink brands. From this perspective, innocent hopes to make in-depth exploration on the track of health drinks.” She said that China’s health food and beverage market has great development potential and growth space, and innocent is also planning to try more products.
It is worth noting that thanks to the strong supply chain of its parent company, innocent is taking China as its “bridgehead” and plans to further expand its business in Asia. “At present, innocent’s products are also exported from China to Singapore and other countries. In fact, it is responsible for supplying our products sold in all Asian markets. Therefore, innocent China has an increasingly heavy burden, which is also supported by Coca Cola.” Jocelyn said.
If you want to break out of the tight encirclement in the juice market, good product power is naturally indispensable, “strong assists” can also be icing on the cake. However, compared with other high-quality fruit juices and brands of large companies, perhaps the most distinctive thing about innocent is that it is good at creating a “interesting, cute, warm and socially responsible” brand with various brain opening ideas, so as to communicate emotionally and resonate with consumers.
This makes innocent stand out from other fruit juice products.
“We will never push products first, we will always push brands first, I will not persuade consumers (buy our juice), I will not go to hard sell (force sales), I will make friends with consumers. Our path is that consumers first like our brand, and then realize that our products are healthy and natural.” Jocelyn said.
For example, this flash store is very interesting. Xiaoshidai noticed that the character story and footprints of Amy, the “fruit quality inspector who doesn’t eat fruit”, appeared in multiple interactive scenes in the “picky juice store”. “Amy is not a virtual character. We really ran into such a consumer. She doesn’t eat fruit and can’t drink NFC juice. This is actually very normal, like some people don’t eat seafood and some people don’t eat mutton.” Jocelyn said.
This is completely “reverse endorsement”.
Jocelyn explained that the starting point of this marketing idea is that innocent’s personality is to make friends. “We (juice brands) really have to be limited to making friends. Can I only make friends with people who eat fruit? In fact, it’s not. On the one hand, this idea makes our old friends feel the familiar personality of innocent: innocent and evil, ‘skin to fly’, on the other hand, it also attracts many new friends, even those who don’t eat fruit.”
With Amy as an element, innocent also launched Amy’s limited edition packaged juice products, and even the “banana hotline” (innocent’s customer service hotline) invited Amy to play a guest operator. “Judging from the current market feedback, this is a positive attempt. Some consumers even suggested that we could expand the limited edition of Amy elements.” Jocelyn said.
In addition, she said that for innocent brand, a very important link between brand values and consumer resonance is “green sustainability”, because today’s young consumers are willing to be better for themselves and the earth, and are willing to vote with their wallets.
The company has said that it plans to achieve 100% sustainable planting of all raw materials by 2023, achieve carbon neutrality by 2025 and achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040. Previously, innocent has launched the first carbon neutral orange juice in Europe.
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