A CHERRY GOOD WAY TO BE FIT.
Although apples and oranges still dominate globally, cherries featured in seven per cent of juice drink launches in 2011 - up from four per cent five years earlier - according to research specialist Innova Market Insights.
Fuelling the interest in cherry juice is the growing evidence of the health benefits associated with it.
It has extremely high antioxidant content but newer research has also shown that tart cherries, such as montmorency, help to improve sleep quality, reduce inflammation and speed muscle recovery.
There is also evidence that tart cherries can help combat arthritis and reduce the risk of gout.
Innova's Lu Ann Williams said: "Cherry juices are increasing in popularity and increasingly carrying a superfruit branding in the wake of a growing body of research linking tart cherries to a whole range of health benefits.
"This looks set to boost demand and carry cherries further up the rankings for soft drinks flavours."
The cherry's claim to superfruit status has been enhanced by another report - The Red Report - which includes more than 50 peerreviewed scientific studies on tart cherries.
Helping to launch the report, US health expert Dr Wendy Bazilian said: "The power of this superfruit is clear. The fruit has long been believed to have pain relief benefits, but there is strong and significant evidence to back this up."
According to the report, 90 per cent of adults believe it is important to get their nutrients from foods that are naturally rich in vitamins and minerals, with Vitamin A a key nutrient in demand. Tart cherries contain 19 times more Vitamin A than blueberries or strawberries.
John Heseltine, founder of Cherrygood cherry juice, said: "There is no question consumers are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about the many health and lifestyle benefits associated with tart cherries.
"We are responding to this by introducing new products into our range to meet the needs of all the family and also looking to take our brand into Europe, the United States and elsewhere."
SUPERFRUIT J Health benefits galore