(NewsUSA) - If there is a word that best describes the American diet over the past decade, it may be "abundance." The modern grocery store has virtually eliminated seasonal and geographical differences to offer a wide array of proteins, fruits, vegetables and fats that should make meal planning a breeze.
Yet, the American palette continues to evolve. Today's consumer is more educated than ever before, and better-for-you choices that began with "low-fat" and "organic" have expanded to include gluten-free, non-GMO and other considerations for healthier eating.
As fast-food chains scurry to post nutritional information on menus, and snack food manufacturers develop new, better-for-you options, one area of the grocery store is enjoying a comeback: frozen fruit juice concentrates.
First introduced in 1946, frozen juice concentrates became a hit by combining convenience and fresh-when-you-make-it taste in an affordable package that was easy to store. Yet, sales began to dim in the past decade as consumers began to look towards low-calorie and bottled sports drinks.
However, an array of innovative new products has been introduced into the frozen juice aisle the past 12 months that have flipped the traditional frozen juice category on its ear. Frozen fruit and vegetable blends, "green" smoothies, blended coffees and frozen teas all break the norm of frozen juice yet offer the same fresh-when-you-make-it appeal. So while category sales have yet to fully rebound, retailers have definitely taken notice.
"We're really excited about the short- and long-term potential for the frozen juice category," said Kevin Miller, vice president of marketing at the Sparta, Mich.-based Old Orchard Brands, the nation's second-largest producer of frozen juice concentrates. "We've introduced more than a dozen new products in just the past year, and several of our key retail partners have allocated more space to get them in the store. We remain optimistic about the long-term viability of frozen juices."
Among the innovation Miller references is a line of fruit and veggie frozen concentrates that combine carrot, sweet potato and beets together with peach, mango, blueberry and other juice favorites to provide a full serving of fruit and vegetables in each glass. In addition, the leading frozen juice company introduced a line of sweet tea blends, and it will unveil a frozen coffee line this year.
To find out what's new in your local freezer case, visit www.oldorchard.com. Or, simply stop by your favorite retailer to see what new and exciting trends have arrived in your local freezer.