Juicers, Blenders Benefit As Consumers Focus On Health & Wellness

NEW YORK— Healthier lifestyles, a greater emphasis on wellness, and a new desire to experiment with fun and interesting beverages at home are boosting sales of juicers, blenders and home carbonators.

Juice extractors were all the rage last year, as celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Kim Kardashian and Pharrell Williams all raved about the benefits of celery juice. At the same time, blender sales are rising due to consumer interest in smoothies made from fruits and vegetables, as well as protein shakes, homemade nut butters and nut milks, and the ultimate comfort food, soup. Blenders benefit from the increased interest in home cocktail consumption, which also is sparking sales in the home carbonation category. Home soda-making is now pivoting to focus on flavored seltzers and vitamin waters, which appeal more to health-conscious consumers.

The new wave of wellness started lifting the category two years ago, but has gotten a big surge this year from the COVID-19 crisis.

“We started seeing a real change in consumer behavior in March, when stay-at-home orders began to take effect,” said Joe Derochowski, home industry advisor for The NPD Group. “Products that promote a healthy lifestyle are becoming even more important to families now than they were before, and they were performing very well before.” NPD reported sales of juice extractors were up 14% last year; traditional blenders were up 5%.

“Smoothie consumption is up, and juice consumption is up,” Derochowski said. “This represents a real opportunity for the industry to educate the consumer about the benefits of these products as part of a healthy lifestyle. There is definitely a segment of the population that is concerned about limiting the amount of sugar in their beverages and this is fueling sales of various appliances, such as flavored seltzer-makers.”

Legacy is expanding its Omega brand of juice extractors with the addition of a new cold-press juicer that will retail at $149, as compared to its existing models, which are priced from $299 and above.

“We are constantly hearing from customers that juicing has become part of their healthy lifestyle, part of how they live and how they consume food and beverages,” said Kelly Sakowicz, vp/marketing, Legacy. “Our goal with the new Omega juice extractor is to make the technology accessible to a much broader audience.”

Legacy tested the new Omega juice extractor with direct response television campaigns and plans to have a broader online and retail rollout mid-year.

“This is a great machine that offers the benefits of cold-press technology,” Sakowicz said. “This allows consumers to get the most out of their juice, preserving the vitamins, enzymes and nutrients, as well as the taste. Consumers have become hyper-sensitive about what they put in their bodies, and they are looking for products that allow them to live a healthier lifestyle.”

Vitamix is spotlighting several new blender collections, including the Explorian Series, positioned to create medium-sized batches and small family meals; and the Ascent Series, which integrates wireless smart technology.

“At Vitamix, we are committed to improving the vitality of people’s lives through whole-food nutrition,” said Alyssa Santoli, manager, PR and social media for Vitamix. “We don’t see healthy eating as a trend. It’s a lifestyle, and with the help of a Vitamix machine, it’s a sustainable one. At Vitamix, we have long promoted the concept of ‘healthy made easy.’ You don’t need culinary training or exotic ingredients to prepare healthy recipes. There are hundreds of healthy whole-food recipes you can create in any Vitamix blender in a matter of minutes.”

Sweden’s Ankarsrum Assistent Original has added new blender and citrus press attachments to tap into wellness trends.

“People are cooking more at home because of the COVID-19 crisis, and food has taken on new meaning,” said Marcus Grimerö, CEO of Ankarsrum Kitchen AB. “It’s a source of nutrition and sustenance, and it’s also a creative outlet at a time when preparing a meal can be a comforting step toward a sense of normalcy. The citrus press and the blender attachment tie into appreciation of fresh whole fruits for their nutritional and taste benefits.”

Zwilling J.A. Henckels includes a high-performance blender in its new kitchen electrics line. “With the rising consciousness around wellness, we were happy to introduce a collection of electrics that are the core of a wellness routine,” said Joanna Rosenberg, chief marketing officer, Zwilling. “Our blenders can be used for smoothies, nut butters, sauces, soups and other cooking tasks.”

Breville is focusing on giving consumers the best of both worlds with its 3X Bluicer Pro, a new multi-functional combination blender and juicer, which integrates fresh juice into smoothies and other blender drinks.

Playing off the popularity of celery juice, Hurom launched a Celery & Greens Slow Juicer, designed specifically for juicing celery, wheatgrass, leafy greens and root vegetables like beets and ginger.