Functional fruit: Dirafrost refreshes smoothie market with new range

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18 Sep 2018 --- Frozen food company Dirafrost FFI (Dirafrost), part of Agrana Fruit and well known for its fruit and fruit purees, is stepping out of its comfort zone and refreshing the smoothie market. The company already had a range of 11 smoothies, but now, according to the company, their new range changes the tone. 

Dirafrost is specialized in frozen fruit for distribution, retail, bakery wholesale and industry with a broad range of fruit mixes, fruit purees, fruit coulis, smoothie portions and bakery specialties. The Belgium-headquartered company has sales activities throughout Europe, Middle East and Asia-Pacific. 

The company has created four new smoothies which do not only contain fruit but also vegetables and add-ins like spirulina, linden extract, bee pollen and echinacea. “Self-care,” “health” and “feel good” are the keywords of this new concept, says Dirafrost. 

The ingredients are packed in 150g bags, which is exactly one portion. The content of the bag goes in the blender, add juice and blend until smooth. The convenient packaging idealizes the smoothies for foodservice and distribution, according to the company. In the context of overall health, they offer the possibility to add probiotics to the smoothie portions. This is claimed to lift healthy smoothies to a next level. So these smoothies do not just contain vitamins and fibers, but also probiotics that contribute to digestive and immune health. 

Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Rob Cogghe, General Manager for Dirafrost, discusses the importance of the new add-on ingredients: “Thanks to the add-ins, the smoothie is healthier than if you would just eat your daily fruits. The add-ins like probiotics, echinacea, spirulina, bee pollen and linden extract contribute to good digestive health, a healthy immune system, physical endurance and help to lower stress and nervousness. This makes a smoothie more than a blended combination of fruits and vegetables.” 

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“Self-care,” “health” and “feel good” are the
keywords of this new concept, says Dirafrost 

Superfood and superfruits have been very popular, but people are used to these now. People expect something new that is very healthy that they haven’t heard of before, he stresses. 

“Our fruits are 100 percent natural, with nothing added. They are frozen quickly after harvest, so the vitamins are kept very well. The smoothies are sweet enough on their own and therefore do not need any sweeteners or sugar. This new range can be personalized, they can be adapted to the needs of the customer. Some people prefer sweet, other likes a bitter note,” he says.  

Consumers have less and less time, but at the same time they want to take care of their health and according to Cogghe, that is where Dirafrost products meet the needs of the consumers. “The fruit and vegetables are already cut into small pieces, so that doesn’t require any work. The add-ins are already in the same bag, they only need to put the content of the bag in the blender, add 150-200ml of juice and blend for 45 seconds. Then they have a very healthy smoothie in a few minutes,” he adds.  

“We know that basically everyone could create a smoothie, but it’s about flavor balance and adding ingredients that surprise people. It’s more than just ‘throwing some fruits and veggies in your blender.’ Every ingredient has its health benefit, so every combination has a reason for consuming, e.g., you need feel tired so you need something that gives you energy, you work out a lot, so you need something that helps muscle growth and muscle repair, for example. We think that the possibilities, combinations and new ingredients are endless.”

For the moment, four smoothie combinations have been launched, with more new combinations to be expected in the coming few months. “In the meantime, we will research new add-ins and possibilities to surprise the consumers,” Cogghe notes. 

“Foodservice definitely expands this way. Every place needs to stand out and differentiate themselves from their competitors. That is why personalization and surprising ingredients are essential. We expect retail to follow this direction: people want to create a quick, healthy meal/drink at home in no time.”  

“Fruit is not just fruit. Different varieties of fruit give different taste experiences,” he continues. “We constantly look for new varieties that fit certain needs better than other varieties. We believe that frozen fruit is the future. Long transport does not affect the fruits, as they can be picked at their best moment,” Cogghe concludes.

By Elizabeth Green

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