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Juices get trendy; can V8 ride the trend?

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 22, 2014 at 1:31 pm •  Published: July 22, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — Pricey fruit and vegetable juices have become fashionable among those on a quest for fitness, and now V8 is trying to grab their attention.

Campbell Soup Co. is hoping it can spark a turnaround for the struggling beverage brand by hitching it to the growing popularity of new brands that mix more exotic ingredients like coconut water, kale and ginger and tout their freshness. Whether the health and fitness crowd will swallow an older brand like V8 as part of their routines remains to be seen.

During Campbell's annual investor meeting Monday, Ed Carolan, president of the company's U.S. retail unit, noted that V8 has historically targeted "people who struggled to be healthy," or those who just wanted to get their daily servings of fruits and vegetables.

Now, however, he said V8 plans to target a group he called the "fit and hip explorers" — those who are genuinely enthusiastic about their health and well-being. Essentially, the idea is to position V8 as a more affordable way to get in on the juice habit, which can get expensive.

"We've been juicing for more than 80 years," Carolan said in explaining V8's potential to get in on the trend.

More expensive "premium" bottled juices, including PepsiCo's Naked juices, have grown in popularity and juice bars have been popping up in major U.S. cities. Starbucks also recently began selling bottles of Evolution Fresh juices in its cafes, with a bottle costing as much as $6. The demand is being driven in part because "consumers are crazy for vegetables," Carolan said.

Juicing at home has become popular too, so much so that Bolthouse Farms, which was recently acquired by Campbell Soup, began selling big bags of carrots in supermarkets specifically for people who juice at home.

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