Tesco contract reflects ‘resurgence in popularity’ for juice brand

By Laurence Gibbons contact

- Last updated on GMT

When life gives you lemons, secure a Tesco contract: PLj Lemon Juice is now stocked in 750 Tesco stores
When life gives you lemons, secure a Tesco contract: PLj Lemon Juice is now stocked in 750 Tesco stores

Related tags: Vitamin c, Soft drink, Tesco

Food and drink firm Healthy Food Brands has created 10 jobs to meet growing demand, after securing a contract to supply its PLj Lemon Juice brand to 750 Tesco stores.

The PLj brand secured a new listing to 500 Tesco stores in November last year, but that has now grown by 250. A lime variant of the juice has also secured listings in 600 Tesco stores.

Darren Carabine, sales director for Healthy Food Brands, said the listing was a “direct response to strong consumer demand”.​  

Of the new jobs created, eight are within the Healthy Foods Brands factory in Manchester and the remaining two will be at the firm’s head office in Billingshurst, West Sussex.

‘Resurgence in popularity’

The brand is experiencing a resurgence in popularity fuelled by Tesco’s plans to fight obesity by reducing calories in its soft drinks, Carabine claimed.

“The PLj product and its heritage works well with Tesco’s drive to help consumers make informed, healthy choices in the drinks aisle,”​ he added.

A 25ml serving of PLj Lemon Juice contained at least 75% of an adult’s recommended daily intake of Vitamin C and seven calories, making it the “most fruit-rich cordial”​ on the UK market, the firm claimed.

PLj, which is also stocked in Sainsbury, Waitrose and Morrisons, first found popularity in the 1960s and 1970s amongst dieters and housewives when it was positioned as a natural aide to calorie-controlled diets.

2bn calories

Tesco has already removed 2bn calories from its soft drinks and identified 10 key areas to help it make further reductions.

The 10 areas include reducing sugar by 25% on Tesco brand carbonated drinks, by 27% in Tesco high juice, to remove all added sugar from Tesco squash and remove full sugar options from checkouts.

Following this, the retailer plans to develop new technology to remove between 20% and 30% of sugar without using sweeteners.

Of all Tesco new product developments, 60% will focus on low or no calories products and the grocery multiple will look to drive low calorie brands, as part of the commitment.

The other three points will be to create a health and wellness category within Tesco’s soft drinks category, develop its front of store meal deal and lead in the aisles with diet variants.

David Beardmore, Tesco soft drinks buyer said: “As part of our commitment to help our colleagues and customers lead healthier lives we are making it easier to make informed, healthy choices. We have already removed 2bn calories from our soft drinks and identified 10 key areas where we can go further, working with the soft drinks industry to ensure our customers have a range of choices available.”

Related topics: Fruit, vegetable, nut ingredients, Drinks

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