The new owners of Juicy Juice are unveiling a brand makeover that includes new packaging, products and marketing initiatives.
Last June, Brynwood Partners formed Stamford, Conn.-based Harvest Hill Beverage Company to acquire Juicy Juice from Nestlé USA, with ambitious plans to revitalize and grow the brand organically and through strategic acquisitions. Brynwood has also acquired other brands spun off by Nestlé in recent times, including Joseph's Pasta Co., Bit-O-Honey candies and Flipz chocolate pretzels.
Juicy Juice, launched in the 1977 and acquired by Nestlé in the 1980s, was a pioneer in kids' 100% juice, and according to IRI data for the 52 weeks ended May 17, 2015, still leads the category. But the shelf-stable juices category has been in decline (sales declined 3% per year between 2011 and 2013).
Last June, Nestlé reported that Juicy Juice's share was down to 3.9%, from 4.6% in 2011, and Brynwood's senior managing partner, Henk Hartong, told The Wall Street Journalthat Juicy Juice's annual sales were about $275 million, down from more than $500 million in 2007.
All of which added up to opportunity, in Brynwood's thinking. "You can be hugely successful in a declining category by being flexible and responsive to consumer and customer tastes" through expanded marketing and product innovation, Hartong said, noting that a 1% gain in share would translate to $70 million in incremental annual sales.
"By further leveraging the brand's nutritional and wellness attributes, we plan to continue providing our loyal customers with its high-quality, great-tasting products in innovative packaging formats," Hartong stated in a release announcing the acquisition.
The initial Juicy Juice moves in line with that strategy, being rolled out this month in time for the back-to-school season, include a new product line: Juicy Juice Splashers. Splashers' four flavors come in pouches and, through the addition of filtered water to the juices, have half the sugar of the "leading juice," according to Harvest Hill.
The company has also introduced four new flavors to the core Juicy Juice line (Strawberry Watermelon, Passion Dragonfruit, Peach Apple and Cranberry Apple).
In addition, it has invested in a new brand logo and package redesigns across the portfolio, and a revamped Web site. The site features nutrition information for each product/flavor, lots of activities for kids and at present, videos of cute kids doing testimonials for Splashers.
Marketing is indeed being stepped up, and one dominant message in these efforts is that Juicy Juice's products (unlike some produced by its competitors) have never contained high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar or artificial sweeteners.
"Moms today seek transparency and balance, two values that are core to the Juicy Juice brand," said Harvest Hill CMO Ilene Bergenfeld. "Our innovative product introductions and fun, new look set the stage for continued leadership, and for a new generation of moms and kids to discover what makes Juicy Juice special."
The new Juicy Juice products and design updates will be supported by print and digital advertising, FSIs, in-store marketing and social media marketing.
One example: A Juicy Juice Juicy Makeover Instant Win Game, offering $2,500 shopping sprees and other BTS-themed prizes worth $25,000 in total, is set to launch on the brand's Facebook channel starting Aug. 10.
The brand is also sponsoring Rick Stenhouse Jr.'s Roush Fenway Racing car for the Oct. 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.