Fungicide Found in Mainstream Orange Juice
Juice drinkers were soured at the thought of carbendazim in their OJ. Coca-Cola found traces of the dangerous fungicide in its Minute Maid orange juice, while PepsiCo also detected low levels of it in Tropicana.
Juice Market Analysis. According to Matt McLean, CEO of Uncle Matt’s, Clermont, FL, this news had a positive effect on organic juice manufacturers, like his company. “We abide by organic regulations. We don’t use any synthetic fungicides like carbendazim. You won’t find it in an organic product like Uncle Matt’s,” says McLean.
He reports that his company saw a spike in awareness about organic juices, and in “the understanding that you can have an option without synthetic fertilizers.” McLean noted an uptick in interest from parents who wanted to be sure their children’s juices are free of chemicals and synthetic fertilizers.
An organic farmer has USDA approved materials that can be used in lieu of fungicides. “One thing we use is compost, which creates good bacteria that fights the bad and out-competes the fungus. We have a variety of methods that we use,” says McLean.
McLean also confirms that there was a bump in sales for his company’s organic juices.
Other natural companies benefitted, too. GoodBelly, has grown its line of natural probiotic juices. Alan Murray, CEO of GoodBelly, Boulder, CO, says one hot new launch was a GoodBelly 10 Ounce Probiotic Coconut Water. Coconut water has been popular as an electrolyte and hydration enhancer, and the probiotics add digestive health benefits.
The firm also confirms that customers are constantly looking for interesting, exciting flavors. “The most interesting flavor combinations available to consumers contain fresh and unique ingredients that also offer a variety of health benefits,” says Murray. GoodBelly has met this need with flavors like pomegranate blackberry and blueberry acai “because they are exotically delicious ingredients that also offer a number of health benefits,” Murray says. Taste and benefit are some of the most important factors in the functional beverage industry, he states. “Consumers today want the biggest bang for their buck, and that absolutely applies to ingredients and flavors.”
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