An analysis of market prices for superfruit juices in relation to their nutritional profile reveals that Concord grape juice offers a sweet-spot combination of affordability and high polyphenol content.
Research has shown that Concord grape juice delivers more healthy polyphenols per serving than most other popular superfruit juices. In one study, Concord grape juice was found to have a polyphenolic concentration of 2.6mg GAE/mL. By contrast, blueberry juice had 2.3mg; açai and black cherry juices each had 2.1mg; while cranberry juice had 1.7mg. Only pomegranate juice outperformed Concord grape juice with 3.8mg.
However, an analysis of current market prices for single-strength juice concentrates shows that Concord grape juice is the cheapest of all of these superfruit juices at just $2.20 per US gallon (3.8 litres).
Açai juice is $38.07 or 1,630% more expensive; blueberry juice is $4.01 (82% more); pomegranate juice is $3.38 (54% more); and dark sweet cherry juice is $3.33 (51% more). Cranberry juice, which delivers a polyphenol concentration 35% lower than Concord grape juice, is closer in price at $2.26 but still comes in at 3% more expensive.
“A barrier to superfruit juice consumption is the relatively higher cost of the raw materials, which leads to higher price points at retail,” notes Kevin Kilcoyne, vice president and general manager at Welch’s Global Ingredients Group. “Our analysis demonstrates that thanks to the Concord grape, it’s possible to formulate a 100% superfruit juice that is not only affordable but also sits at the top end of the scale for positive nutrition. Furthermore, Concord grape juice scores highly on taste—something that can’t be said for some superfruit juices, such as açai, cranberry and pomegranate.”
What makes a fruit super?
There is no official definition of a superfruit. However, it is widely accepted that superfruits deliver high concentrations of polyphenols (healthy plant nutrients) in comparison with other fruits. While grapes are sometimes not associated with superfruits, the Concord is a special polyphenol-rich variety that is quite different from standard table grapes. In fact, research has shown that Concord grape juice contains between 74% and 422% more polyphenols than grape juices made from other varieties.
“Concord grape juice is a superfruit in every sense of the word. It has a compelling trifecta of benefits – great taste, great value and great nutrition,” adds Kilcoyne. “This differentiates it from other superfruit juices available on the market today, as well as other grape juices.”
Welch’s Global Ingredients Group supplies Concord grape juice, puree, pieces and powder to food and beverage manufacturers worldwide. They are perfect for use in beverages, smoothies, snacks, bakery products, confectionery, yogurts, ice cream and desserts.
Seeram NP, Aviram M, Zhang Y, Henning SM, Feng L, Dreher M and Heber D. Comparison of Antioxidant Potency of Commonly Consumed Polyphenol- Rich Beverages in the United States. J AgricFood Chem. 2008. 56(4):1415–1422.
 Market data sourced by Welch’s Global Ingredients Group, June 2018. Price applies to most recent harvest for each fruit type.
Auger C, Pollet B, Arnold C, Marx C and Schini-Kerth VB. Great Heterogeneity of Commercial Fruit Juices to Induce Endothelium-Dependent Relaxations in Isolated Porcine Coronary Arteries: Role of the Phenolic Content and Composition. J Med Food. 2015. 18(1):128-136.
About Welch’s Global Ingredients Group
Established in 2014 as a division of Welch Foods, Inc. (Welch’s), Welch’s Global Ingredients Group offers grape juice expertise and solutions to companies across the globe. Our primary ingredients are made in the USA and include Concord and Niagara grape single-strength juices, juice concentrates and purées, as well as a range of powders and fruit bites. Our sales territories are North, Central and South America; Asia, with special emphasis in Japan, Korea and China; and EMEA. In EMEA and China we operate through our distribution partner, WILD.
Welch’s is the processing and marketing subsidiary of the National Grape Cooperative. Located across America and in Ontario, Canada, the cooperative’s approximately 825 family farmers own the company and grow the delicious and inherently healthy Concord Grape used in Welch’s juices and other grape-based products. Welch’s is committed to research and development that will meet the growing demand for products that address consumers’ health and nutrition needs. Welch’s products are sold throughout the United States and in approximately 40 countries around the globe. Welch’s is an Equal Opportunity Employer – Minorities/Female/Disabled/Veterans.
For more information, visit www.welchs.com.