In the era of health-consciousness, sugar free cranberry juice is a product that consumers are eagerly looking for on the shelves. However, truly achieving this goal without compromising the nutrition and taste of the juice has been challenging. Enter NewTree Fruit Company (NTFC), which has successfully pioneered a method to give juice lovers exactly what they’ve been looking for.
Based in Traverse City, Michigan, NTFC is the first company to acquire a patent and bring to market a revolutionary culturing method that extracts sugar from fruit juice. The most recent success story from the company is the complete removal of all naturally occurring sugars — including fructose, sucrose and glucose — from cranberry juice concentrate. Impressively, this sugar free cranberry juice retains every bit of the fruit’s nutritional value.
So, how did NTFC achieve this? The magic lies in its patented De-Sugaring technology developed by NTFC. This transformative process doesn’t just stop at cranberries. The company intends to replicate this success across various other fruit juices, bringing a fresh, healthier option to consumers globally.
NTFC was established in 2014 by co-founder and CEO Chad Anderson, his wife and co-founder Kim and the inventor Luc Hobson. Around 2012, Hobson was tasked with crafting a blackberry “super shot” enriched with a specific amount of polyphenols. The process made the mixture thicker, leading him to extract the sugar. Concurrently, Anderson’s grandparents, both in their early 90s, were diagnosed with diabetes. This diagnosis sparked a realization for the team, inspiring them to create beverages that were healthier and contained reduced sugar.
Sugar is ubiquitous. It’s in over 60 percent of the global food and beverage supply chain, according to NTFC. And the growing understanding since the early 2000s of sugar’s health impacts, which were recognized as early as the 1950s, has led to increasing concerns. The fallout includes rising rates of obesity, diabetes, reduced lifespan and decreased quality of life.
Consequently, there’s been a significant push from brands and organizations to curtail sugar content in their products. Fruit juice, despite its nutritional richness in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, also comes loaded with sugar. This high sugar content prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to advise a cap on juice consumption at just four ounces per day.
The global sugar free beverage market reached $7.9 billion last year and is expected to reach $10.9 billion by 2030 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2 percent. A major player in the sugar free juice market is Minute Maid, owned by The Coca-Cola Company. While its line of Zero Sugar juice drinks don’t contain sugar, the products contain aspartame and other additives to provide and regulate tartness.
NTFC’s De-Sugaring innovation differentiates it from Minute Maid and other competitors. Instead of merely diluting the juice, a prevalent practice that diminishes its nutritional value, this technology removes the sugar entirely from the juice.
In addition to its sugar free cranberry juice, NTFC aims to target products that could potentially offer low to zero sugar advantages, such as other fruit juices, flavored water, sports drinks, protein beverages, smoothies, yogurt preparations, jellies, gummies, nutritional bars and ready-to-drink (RTD) alcoholic beverages.
“Consuming less sugar is a top priority for consumers today and there is an increasing expectation that healthier product solutions must also taste great, and NTFC hits that mark,” Anderson said in a press release. “De-Sugared 100 percent fruit juice concentrates can be used to add flavor, brilliant color, nutrients, in addition to lowering the sugar, calorie and carbohydrate impact in non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages alike.”
Moving forward, NTFC is eager to collaborate with global food and beverage companies to create nutrient-rich, sugar free products for consumers.