‘We’re on a mission to make HPP juice more accessible’: Coldpress Foods MD

‘We’re on a mission to make HPP juice more accessible’: Coldpress Foods MD

The MD of HPP juice brand Coldpress insists it is still growing strongly in the UK despite wider category woes, with a sustainable business model that now allows it to compete head-on with Tropicana and Innocent.

Speaking at BeverageDaily.com’s online event Beverage & Dairy Treatment 2015 – organized with our sister site DairyReporter.com – last week, Gibb (an Australian national whose first HPP foray came with Preshafruit, a brand still sold Down Under) told us how the brand had developed since it hit UK retail shelves in 2011.

“HPP is such a new technology. We’re learning every week. We’ve made a hell of a lot of mistakes along the way, but from those we’ve learnt – we’re now on our fourth manufacturing site in Europe,” he told BeverageDaily.com’s Rachel Arthur.

'Trail and error': Coldpress achieves sustainable business model

“It’s only been through trial and error, in terms of getting our supply chain right, identifying the right manufacturing and juice partners, that we’ve got a sustainable business model,” Gibb (pictured) added.

One of Coldpress’s biggest mistakes was growing too quickly, Gibb said, both in regard to the brand and having a manufacturing model that could keep pace with that growth.

“The challenge with HPP is obviously cost, since there’s no doubt that HPP or Coldpress Juices deliver superior taste and nutrition,” he said. “The big downside is that it’s a batch process. So your production or manufacturing costs are always going to be higher versus pasteruized juices.

Marcel Janssen, group manufacturing director at Refresco Gerber, who also took part in Thursday’s event, agreed: “High pressure pasteurization is a very nice technology – but it’s mainly used for premium products at the moment, because it’s a batch process that you can only use for smaller volumes.

“I think it’s a good technology. You have very good product quality, in terms of taste and vitamins. I hope this technology will develop beyond a batch process, and become a normal flow technology,” Janssen added.

'We're arguably the most efficient HPP juice producer in the world'

Despite the higher cost base, Gibb claims that Coldpress, via experience and trial and error, is now “arguably the most efficient HPP juice producer in the world”.

Nonetheless, he admits a higher price means that introducing consumers to HPP and its benefits remains one of the key marketing challenges, and is the barrier to mass-market uptake, since many consumers aren’t event aware that standard juice is pasteurized.

Moreover, Gibb alludes to the wider problem of a UK juice category that fell victim to the war on sugar, which has “completely decimated” the smoothie category where Coldpress is still active. Despite these problems he reveals that juices account for 70-80% of company sales, which are growing strongly.

 “We re-launched the brand in January and spent a lot of time and money to refine the message – focusing on the benefits, with new branding emphasizing the better taste and goodness, then explaining why,” Gibb said.

While the last couple of years the UK market has seen a welter of HPP launches – everything from coconut water to fruit and vegetable juices, Gibb points out that Coldpress was there first, while the newer brands are all pitched at the affluent, urban, London consumer.

Favorable price comparison with Starbucks' cold pressed juices

While such products are 40-100% more expensive than conventional pasteurized juices, he said, Coldpress has driven efficiencies to the extent that two new ranges launched into Tesco and Waitrose this month – one liter Cloudy Apple and Valencian Orange juice – are within 10% of Innocent and Tropicana in terms of price.

“Three months ago we were 40% more expensive than those great brands,” Gibb said, identifying Tropicana and Innocent as his real competition.

“We’re really on a mission to make HPP juices more accessible and communicate the benefits of the technology,” he adds.

“We’ve also just launched our first range of vegetable juices,” he adds. “Innocent through Starbucks over here [in the UK] is selling HPP cold pressed juices under the Innocent brand at over £4 [$6] for 330ml. We’ve got 500ml vegetable juices on shelf now at Tesco at £2.79 with higher vegetable content.”

Click here to hear Andrew Gibb’s presentation on the Beverage & Dairy Treatment 2015 platform, where you can consume all the content for free.

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