The healthy eating movement has influenced an array of trends and fads in the last five years. Some of these include the paleo diet, GMO-free foods, gluten-free foods, organic foods and most recently cold-pressed juice.
Although the concept of “raw juice” is newer, juicing has been around since the 1970s. But starting in 2009, cold-pressed, raw juices became wildly popular and food bloggers soon were posting artistic photos of these beverages, while boosting how they were full of nutrients.
Not to be confused with the grocery staples like orange juice or cranberry juice, these types of fruit juices are often just as unhealthy as a sugary drink. So cold-pressed juices have emerged as the healthy, yet easy way to get your daily dose of veggies and fruits.
Celebrities like Beyoncé and Jennifer Aniston soon started to indorse juice-only diets.
Today the cold-pressed juice sector is worth $100 million, according to the market research firm IBISWorld.
But, cold-pressed, raw juices are different than those made at home with your juicer. After the ingredients are mixed, it’s bottled, sealed and thrown into a large chamber where a tremendous amount of water applies pressure. This makes the shelf life of the juice longer.
So, is it just a Fad?
Although you will see more of these juices at healthier concepts, there are a few criticisms about the raw juice trend. Some believe that the nutrition is lost in the processing of the juice. Valuable parts of the plants, like the fiber and skin are left behind. These juices tend to be expensive and lastly, they are not eco-friendly. One 16-ounce bottle of juice can often contain 6 pounds for vegetables and fruits. Not to mention, the leftover pulp emits methane, a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide. It will be interesting to see if these factors cause raw juice to be a passing fad in the next few years.
Juice-Focused Concepts on the Rise
Only time will tell if these beverages will become a forever fan-favorite beverage, but today consumers can’t get enough of raw juice. So much so that they are becoming a popular supplement at restaurants and there are several concepts on the rise with the sole focus on these beverages.
Barry Rabkin, co-founder and chief juce officer at RawJuce doesn’t see juicing as a passing fad. He sees it as the future and that’s why he has opened multiple RawJuce locations in South Florida. He is passionate about these juice products and describes RawJuce as the “The Fountain of Youth.”
So what do RawJuce consumers really want?
“People want real food. Nothing is purer than taking fruits and vegetables, cold pressing them in order to consume. You can taste the nutrients with every sip,” said Rabkin.
Like most juice concepts, juice isn’t the only thing on the menu at RawJuce. Each location offers juce, juce shots, smooth-e-lixers (superfood smoothies,) cleanses, oatmeal bowls, salads, acai bowls and even desserts.
“RawJuce is the complete experience. Obviously you can find the freshest, healthiest food to eat or drink. It's much more than that though. It's like a party! Our team members and guests have a great time each and every day!” said Rabkin.
Part of the appeal of these juice concepts for consumers is the atmosphere. RawJuce has a fresh, sleek, yet comforting interior. It’s a place where health-conscious friends can meet after their work-out or to fuel up for lunch. It’s a lifestyle that millennials want to be a part of and want to share on their social media accounts.
This healthy fast casual concept takes farm-to-table to a whole new level with their own hydroponic farm. Every product is grown in house including their cold-pressed juices.
This Nola-based restaurant offers a creative and plant-focused menu with salads, wraps, soups and cold-pressed juice.
“Two years ago, we launched City Greens Press, a line of cold-pressed juices and nut milks, made fresh daily and without any unhealthy or processed additives. Shortly after, we created a made-to-order juice cleanse in response to requests from our guests – it was a natural evolution of the program, and the reception has been really encouraging,” said Abhi Bhansali, co-founder of City Greens.
Their City Juice is a cold-pressed every morning for daily purchase. They are a popular supplementary beverage for the City Greens customers.
“We are forever on-the-go; thus, we’re always looking for the intersection of health and convenience. For many, juice products, specifically cold-pressed juices, are a simple, quick way to consume fresh produce and vital nutrients often lacking in our meat and protein-centric diets,” said Bhansali.
Because of the brand’s easy access to produce grown in its hydroponic farm, the brand is partnering with other local eateries and cafes, like Revelator Coffee Company where the City Juice is also available. City Juice is becoming another revenue stream for the brand. “Our juice business is on track to reach 10% of our overall sales revenue by year-end,” said Bhansali.
Bhansali also doesn’t see these cold-pressed juice products losing momentum in the market. “Trends come and go, as do fads, but we see cold-pressed juicing as “here to stay.” Our guests are getting busier and busier; thus, cold-pressed juices have become a convenient, healthy solution.”
With more consumers craving on-the-go nutritious options, it’s likely that other concepts will emerge to corner this market. While, existing restaurants will also be influenced to offer these juices on their displays.