Fortified beverages in the Middle East: Germany’s Haus Rabenhorst identifies market opportunities for juice range

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

Haus Rabenhorst is looking to capitalise on the functional beverages trend. ©Haus Rabenhorst
Haus Rabenhorst is looking to capitalise on the functional beverages trend. ©Haus Rabenhorst

Related tags Fortified beverages Middle east functional beverages Gulfood

German firm Haus Rabenhorst is looking to capitalise on the functional beverages trend with its range of nutrient-enriched juices, amid growing interest among consumers in Asia and Middle East.

A long-standing producer of premium pure and fortified juices, Haus Rabenhorst has been established for over 200 years, with its brands Rabenhorst and Rotbäckchen being household names in Germany.

Its domestic market generates the highest share of sales at 80%, while international markets in 42 countries make up the remaining 20%, according to Peter Weishaupt, Director of International Sales.

“One of our focus areas is in Asia. China and South Korea are our biggest markets. We are in Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam, and we have started entering Indonesia and Philippines, where we see a growing trend of people being interested in healthy foods.

“Traditionally, Asians have a special connection between health and food, so I think our products fit well in these markets. Similarly, Middle Eastern consumers, who tend to consume too much sugar, are increasingly seeking healthy foods and fruits. Our products are made from pure juices with no added sugar, which address these needs,” ​Weishaupt told FoodNavigator-Asia​ at the recent Gulfood in Dubai.

In addition, the high purchasing power of Middle Eastern consumers and the dearth of nutrient-enriched products are opportunities that the firm is looking to tap into.

“Even in places like the Middle East where there is a lot of sun, many people have vitamin D deficiency. Yet, there is a lack of vitamin D products here, so our product range with added vitamin D could be interesting for this region.”

The company is currently in discussion with various potential partners across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), while particularly eyeing the Saudi Arabian market.

“We have a partner in Saudi Arabia that has been selling our products in their stores for over 20 years now. It is a market with lots of opportunities for the future because of its population size, as well as its active opening up in recent times.

“We are also in talks with one of the biggest pharmacy chains in Dubai to stock with them. Sales channels may differ from market to market, but we are always looking at places where people look for healthy products. It may be a pharmacy, the health segment in a supermarket, or a health food store.”

Keeping abreast of trends

Although functional foods and beverages have been recognised by industry experts as the next big industry trend, Rabenhorst’s foray into this category began as early as the 1950s.

“It started with Rotbäckchen, or fondly known as Rosy Cheeks. After World War II, the food in Germany was not that good. For children to get enough iron, we added iron gluconate to juice and it became our first product specifically for kids.

“Our brand awareness is very high in Germany because every German grew up with this — even at Gulfood, there are German visitors telling us that they drank Rotbäckchen as a child. It is a product that has been passed from generation to generation,” ​Weishaupt said.

In the last 15 to 20 years, the firm found that the drink was no longer only consumed by children, but also older people who have iron deficiency.

“Thereafter, we started extending our ranges by developing products offering solutions for different members of the family. For example, we have products enriched with various vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B complex, zinc and magnesium. Products targeting the immune system is always a topic of interest.

“We are a relatively old company but we do observe current worldwide trends, such as trending fruits. We also try to be active in product innovations every year and expand our portfolio step by step. On top of that, we create special recipes that cater to particular markets, such as China and Korea.”

Rabenhorst’s nutrient-fortified juices claim to address a spectrum of bodily functions, including energy, concentration, beauty-from-within, cardiovascular health, bone, nerve and muscle, and more.

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