Coca-Cola Hellenic says it is exploring the technological aspects of filling dairy and juice-based mixed drinks but agrees with Refresco Gerber that Western European markets are not quite ready.
Terry Rabson, regional engineering manager for Coca-Cola Hellenic (The Coca-Cola Company's second-largest anchor bottler) and Frederic Thoraval, industrial director of Refresco France will speak this week at our free online event devoted to aseptic/ESL technologies and high pressure processing (HPP).
You can register for Beverage and Dairy Treatment 2014 here – it features exclusive webinar content from the two experts above, while GEA Procomac and AVURE will also speak, as will top packaging analysts and academics.
Rabson and Thoraval form part of our star-studded roundtable discussion that forms the climax of Thursday’s event, where alongside other issues, they discuss demand in Western Europe for dairy mixed drinks with fruit juice and fruit pieces.
China’s $1bn+ sales sensation – Minute Maid Super Milky Pulpy Juice
Could we see the likes of Coca-Cola China $1bn+ sales sensation Minute Maid Super Milky Pulpy Juice (with whey protein, milk powder, coconut chunks and fruit juice) in Hellenic or Refresco’s systems? Or are such drinks a specifically Asian proposition in terms of demand?
“There’s definitely an interest – certainly we’re pursuing the technology to review. I’m not sure at this moment that we have strategically made market tests. But it’s something that’s on the horizon for sure,” Rabson says.
Frederic Thoraval agrees: “The same answer from me. We look at this kind of product in France and in Europe but we think the market is not completely ready.
“We have the capability to fill this kind of product today, but that’s really a small, small, small volume. But maybe it’s one for the future,” he adds.
Marco Bruno, senior product manager at GEA Procomac, will ask Rabson what Coca-Cola Hellenic believes is the preferred size among consumers for fruit particulates in beverages.
‘Western Europe is a more refined market’
“It’s a very important question – the main answer, I would say, is that it varies region by region. The taste of what people are enjoying and liking in Russia is slightly different from what we find in a Southern Eastern European country like Romania,” Rabson replies.
“On average we’re going with an 8mm x 8mm x 8mm – up to a 10mm x 10mm x 10mm. But I think on average between 6mm and 8mm is the most favored size, based on what we’re seeing out here at the moment,” he adds.
Given a market trend towards filling juices aseptically with fruit pieces and pulp in countries such as Bulgaria, we also ask Rabson if this trend could catch on more in Western Europe?
“Western Europe is a more refined market, and I think there have been some initial failures in terms of market tests for [drinks with] pulp and bits – that’s my understanding,” he says.
“For a more Eastern European strategy, I believe that these are the kind of drinks that they had during the old Eastern Bloc times, and it’s rejuvenating them in some ways. So there is already a market we believe, because of historical data there.”
*Join us for our free online event, Beverage & Dairy Treatment 2014, on March 20 2014. The program starts at 10.15am New York time, 3.15pm in Paris, and explores process technologies including aseptic, ESL and HPP.
Exclusive webinars unite top consultants, suppliers such as GEA Procomac and Avure and brandowners including Coca-Cola Hellenic and Refresco Gerber. Click here to find out more and to register .