COMPANY REVIVAL TARGETS TOP JUICE MARKET

New Zealand Natural Juice was in danger of dropping out of the market until 18 months ago when new investors took an interest and today’s revival of the Napier-based company is showing exceptional promise.

Started about five years ago, the company had started to lose its way but fresh ideas combined with sales and distribution expertise from new owners has put it firmly back on track.

Auckland logistics and merchandising expert Allen Pilbrow of Malcove moved into the company with a major shareholding around 18 months ago and Paul Kenny of Alliance Marketing has since joined him. Now as the two major partners they have put together a revival package that is making the retail trade sit up and take notice.

Kenny is providing the sales expertise and his team has opened up numerous new accounts and Pilbrow is using his 26 years in merchandising and national distribution to introduce clever technology.

The company is using its operational director Sally Symes, well known for her background in the wine industry and as an early juice developer, to target high end specialty products in juices and juice/water lines. One of the projects in this area has been sponsorship of five Otago University technology students to develop a cloudy-based cider that was once a traditional product. That is likely to be seen in late summer.

The company is using all locally grown fruit as well as limes and lemons from the Gisborne region. With everything apple-based, the company is working around seasonal product additions the likes of peach, kiwi, pear and feijoa and is now trialing blueberry. Its technical team is also working on a tomato product and this development is expected before Christmas.

Now with a stable of sales, distribution, technical and financial people, the company is starting to fly.