Now Naked For A Lot Longer!
There’s a new treat in-store for orange juice lovers with the launch on December 10 of New Zealand’s only 100 per cent pure-squeezed OJ in a Tetra carton available nation-wide.
Pure squeezed ‘not-from-concentrate’ (NFC) is what the supermarket operators call ‘an entirely new category’. That’s because up to now the majority of fruit juice sold in New Zealand – compared to NFC juices – contains comparatively low-cost concentrates imported from China, America and Brazil.
But labelling laws are changing and Charlie’s is moving in big time to the ‘not-from-concentrate’ category as manufacturers are required to reveal more about what’s in their products.
And Charlie’s believes consumers prefer their OJ to be just that – 100 per cent pure squeezed orange juice.
“We are the only nationally-available pure-squeezed OJ in a Tetra carton containing absolutely no concentrate, no water, no added sugar, no preservatives - just oranges,” says Marc Ellis.
“Charlie is now producing its orange juice in bottles for the chilled section, and Tetra carton versions for grocery. 90 per cent of the juice currently sold in New Zealand contains concentrate, and chilled juice comprises only 13 per cent of the market.
“We’re still naked,” Lepionka says “We’re just naked for a lot longer.”
The gentle flash pasteurisation process and innovative packaging, means the chilled juice has an extended shelf life. The same process has enabled Charlie’s to take the product to grocery shelves in Tetra cartons. Once opened it must be treated like fresh juice.
The Charlie the Juicer brand was founded late last year by orange juice entrepreneur Lepionka and former professional footballer Marc Ellis.
The company originally marketed freshly squeezed orange juice from freestanding juicers. In less than 12 months, Charlie the Juicer has become New Zealand’s leading freshly-squeezed orange juice, and the one of the country’s biggest buyers of New Zealand oranges purchasing about 18 per cent of the New Zealand crop annually.
Charlie’s is also branching out in to the fresh fruit market with its own brand of oranges.
“These moves represent a big commitment to the New Zealand citrus industry and consumers,” Lepionka maintains. “Customers and consumers get one-stop shopping for their OJ and fresh orange needs and, of course, a guarantee of quality.”
“And we’re offering local growers a seamless solution to the marketing of the orange crop and giving it a fresh brand.
Lepionka founded Stefan’s Juice in 1990, a business that was subsequently sold to Frucor. Following the sale, he travelled overseas where he traded orange juice concentrate in London and worked as a consultant to a fruit juice company.