HOUSTON--March 14, 2002--The Minute Maid Company announced today that it has introduced the first national brand of Vitamin D-fortified juice. Minute Maid(R) Vitamin D and calcium-fortified juices will set a new nutritional standard in the $3.1 billion chilled orange juice category, and will play a strong role in continuing the growth momentum for Minute Maid branded products during the coming year.
The introduction of Vitamin D-fortified juices builds on the leadership position the company established in 1987, when it became the first to market a nationally branded calcium-fortified orange juice. Since then, the calcium-fortified orange juice segment has grown significantly and in 2001, made up 30 percent of overall chilled orange juice sales and 40 percent of Minute Maid Premium chilled orange juice sales.
"Vitamin D fortification, in conjunction with calcium, provides a delicious, convenient way to help consumers build even healthier bones," said Donald R. Knauss, president and CEO of Minute Maid Americas. "We expect significant consumer interest in this Minute Maid innovation, which will contribute to growth for both the category and Minute Maid branded products."
Beginning April 1, Vitamin D will be added to calcium-fortified Minute Maid Premium Home-Squeezed Style orange juice and calcium-fortified Minute Maid Premium Blends(TM): Orange Tangerine; Orange Passion; Orange Strawberry Banana; and Orange Cranberry. The taste and appearance of the juices remain the same, with an 8-ounce serving providing 25 percent of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin D and 35 percent of the recommended daily amount of calcium, the same amount of both nutrients as in a serving of Vitamin D-fortified milk. In mid-June, the company will expand Vitamin D fortification to all multi-serve Minute Maid Premium Original calcium-fortified orange juice products.
Vitamin D and Strong Bones
The primary function of Vitamin D is to aid in the body's absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones. Without Vitamin D, the body absorbs 10 - 15 percent of calcium consumed in the diet. With Vitamin D, the absorption level increases to 30 - 50 percent.
That's why, according to the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Vitamin D plays a key role in preventing osteoporosis. A new study just released by the National Osteoporosis Foundation found low bone mass and osteoporosis are major public health threats, with about 55 percent of the U.S. population aged 50 and older at risk. The study also shows that laying the foundation for good bone health must start early in life.
A recently completed clinical study, conducted by Dr. Michael Holick, Director, Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory, Boston University School of Medicine, demonstrated that Vitamin D in orange juice is bioavailable and well utilized by the body.
The Vitamin D introduction is part of the ongoing mission of The Minute Maid Company to provide the best beverages for healthy living across all consumer life-stages. While Minute Maid Premium Blends are designed for families with children, Minute Maid Premium Home-Squeezed Style, a high-pulp orange juice, appeals to older consumers. The launch of Vitamin D plus calcium-fortified juices will be supported by a fully integrated marketing campaign, including print advertising, in-store promotions, FSIs, a consumer education initiative on Vitamin D, and media outreach to the medical community. Doner Advertising is creating the advertising, which is scheduled to begin mid-May.
Since mid-2001, The Minute Maid Company has created substantial momentum in its business through brand and nutrition innovation.
-- In April 2001, the company introduced Simply Orange(TM) not-from-concentrate orange juice in the Northeast. Since the introduction, the company's orange juice segment share of sales in that region has grown 3.1 points. The company's total chilled orange juice category share of sales nationwide has grown 1.4 points year-to-date 2002, the fastest of any national brand. Simply Orange orange juice was recently expanded to Florida and Georgia.
-- In May 2001, the company introduced the Minute Maid Adult Refreshment line, which includes shelf stable lemonade and fruit punch distributed through the Coca-Cola Bottler system. Beginning in August 2001, this line became the largest selling brand of single serve juices and juice drinks in the country, with a 10.7 share of volume in the category currently.
-- In September 2001, the company joined forces with another leading brand - Disney - to launch a full line of Disney Beverages. The line includes Disney Hundred Acre Wood(TM) 100% Juices, and Disney Xtreme! Coolers(TM), which contain 20 percent juice and have 25 percent less sugar than the average of leading kid's juice drinks. Both lines are fortified with vitamin C and calcium. Disney Beverages have also been introduced in Japan.
The Minute Maid Company is an operating unit of The Coca-Cola Company and the flagship of its worldwide fruit beverage business.
To download product photography of the new Vitamin D and calcium-fortified Minute Maid Premium Blends, please visit:
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(c)2002 The Coca-Cola Company