Sustainability as Sales Argument in the Fruit Juice Industry? An Analysis of On-Product Communication

Jeanette Klink, Nina Langen, Stefanie Hecht, Monika Hartmann


Purpose/Value – The objective of this paper is to determine (1) the extent to which sustainability serves as a sales argument and (2) which areas of sustainability are communicated in the fruit juice industry. This seems promising against the background that there are several ethical challenges the fruit juice chain is increasingly confronted with and consumers demand for sustainable products is also rising.

Design/Methodology – A market investigation at the Point-of Sale (POS) was conducted in July 2013. On-product communication of all fruit juice products (‘not from concentrate (NFC)’ fruit juices, ’reconstituted (RECON)’ fruit juices, fruit nectars and smoothies) from five retailers (two full-range retailers, two discounters, one organic supermarket) was analyzed. The data was evaluated using content analysis.

Results/Findings – Overall, 562 fruit juices were examined. Results reveal that nearly one quarter of the products has labels signaling sustainable aspects. However, most of those products were found in the organic food retailer and are organic juices. Only a small number of products consider other areas of sustainability, such as social concerns or regional production.

Discussion/Conclusion – Communicating sustainability aspects of fruit juice production via on-package labels is scarce in conventional retail stores. In view of the ethical challenges present in the fruit juice chain and discussed in the paper, the increasing demand of consumers for sustainable products and the high competition in the sector, communicating different sustainability aspects can be an opportunity for fruit juice producers and retailers to differentiate their products on the highly saturated fruit juice market. 


Sustainability; content analysis; on-product-communication; fruit juice industry

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ISSN 1869-6945


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