Juicy Olympics gives fruit processor a lift

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: New product development, Apple

Olympic opportunity: the demand for Olympics themed juices is driving growth at David Berryman
Olympic opportunity: the demand for Olympics themed juices is driving growth at David Berryman
Demand for 2012 Olympics-themed juices is driving continued growth at fruit juice base blender David Berryman.

In 2008, the company, which is based at Kenworth, Bedfordshire, was hit by a plunge in the price of apple juice concentrate – formerly a major source of revenue – driven by over-production and over-supply. Sales dropped from £22M to £10M in one year, according to md Rachel Collins,

Since then, the market has since recovered and David Berryman, which blends bases for private label and some branded fruit juice manufacturers, has bounced back by diversifying into other fruits. It posted sales of £16M this year and predicted that figure will rise to £18M next year.

Driven by NPD

Collins added that new product development was driving much of its growth, with interest surrounding the 2012 London Olympics generating much activity. “Most of what we do is driven by new product development ​(NPD),” said Collins. “We have been working on quite a lot of products being launched specifically with the Olympics in mind. Whether they translate into products is too early to say.

“About 50% of what we are working on at the moment is Olympics themed – that’s around 200 products. Most are limited editions.”

Pressure to develop products more cheaply had powered a lot of other NPD in recent years, she said. “Most of the work has been cost engineering. There’s now a real resurgence in wanting to develop new products.

“We have gone from one to three people in our NPD team and we still can’t keep up with enquiries, from private label and branded players and from new start-ups to major brands. We are seeing real interest in traditional fruits, such as apples, plums, pears, fig and prune..”

Further expansion

The company also had considerable opportunity for further expansion. “At the moment we run only a day shift from 7am to 3pm five days a week,” ​said Collins. “We currently have the capacity to double that if we have to on the beverage side.”

In addition, she said David Berryman’s plan was to diversify its business model outside of juices. “About 90% of what we produce is for the beverage sector. “Our aim is to look at areas such as desserts; ice cream; bakery and confectionery.”​ The firm is planning to invest in new processing facilities at its existing site.

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