Sun | Dec 17, 2017

Trade Winds targets Caribbean markets with tetra pak line

Published:Wednesday | August 16, 2017 | 12:00 AMAvia Collinder

Trade Winds Citrus Limited, maker of Tru-Juice beverages, is planning to move into exports with its tetra pak line of products to Caribbean markets.

It will also be bottling two new chilled products, green vegetable and beet root juices, for local sale.

Tetra pak packaging extends the shelf life of highly perishable juice drinks when sold as chilled beverages. The line is not Trade Winds' first foray into exports, but it will significantly increase volumes sold overseas, said Managing Director Peter McConnell.

"Tru-Juice has been exporting our chilled juices for many years to the Caribbean, United States and United Kingdom, but the volumes have been very small - less than five per cent of juice sales - because of the limited shelf life," he said, defining that limitation as 30-50 days.

"However, with Tru-Juice now available in a long shelf life - seven months - non-refrigerated packaging, we expect to grow exports significantly," McConnell said.

The Tetra pak line is priced higher than the chilled product, but McConnell said it's unfair to compare the two categories, and that the matchup should really be Tru-Juice against other brands, although he declined to call out the prices of rival products.

"We, however, can confidently claim that Tru-Juice in tetra pak is at least 20 per cent cheaper on a volume basis when compared to other non-chilled brands with similar juice content," he said.

Overall, McConnell said, Trade Winds has been experiencing double-digit growth under its partnership with Wisynco Group, but did not specify the volumes produced. Wisynco acquired 50 per cent of Trade Winds in 2013.

"We focus on what we are good at which is innovating good products and producing them in good quality and efficiently. They (Wisynco) use their strength, which is an extensive sales team touching every corner of Jamaica," McConnell said. "We have experienced a double-digit year in terms of volumes and revenues. I will leave it that," he said.

Trade Wind brands include Tru-Juice, Freshhh, Squeezz, Calico Jack and Wakefield. Tru-Juice and Freshhh remain top sellers, McConnell said.

Its line-up spans a range of fruit juice flavours. The portfolio has been diversified to include green vegetable and beet root flavours, which are being sold through fast food chain Island Grill but will also soon be bottled for local retail grocery networks.

Additionally, the company is planning more promotions for its non-refrigerated line.

"We intend to do more advertising and get more people to try it, because people are accustomed to it being on the fridge only," McConnell said.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com