Health remains central to Pom Wonderful’s global ambitions

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pom wonderful, Nutrition, Pomegranate

As Pom Wonderful moves ahead with its global expansion, the pomegranate drink supplier claims it will continue to push it brands as one of the few juices providing ‘meaningful’ health claims, despite some recent setbacks.

After failing to defend a recent ad campaign in the UK against criticisms that its ‘life saving’ claims were too ambiguous, the manufacturer says it is now relying on a superhero motif to save its worldwide promotions, by pushing more regionally relevant health claims.

With Pom Wonderful preparing to extend its presence in continental Europe this summer in Germany and some Benelux markets, the company says it remains committed to promoting itself as a significant contributor to a healthy lifestyle. This pledge comes despite recent UK criticisms of one of its ads, deemed to be ‘misleading’ by some.

‘Life Saving’ claims

The UK-based Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) announced earlier this month that billboard posters claiming the company’s 100 per cent pomegranate juice could​‘cheat death’ was inaccurate and must not appear again.

While ASA acknowledged there was no intention on the part of Pom Wonderful to deliberately mislead or “make an objective claim about longer life”​, it still found the ad problematic.

Caped crusader

Although the company said it had dropped the offending advertising at the end of last year, despite disagreeing with ASA’s judgement, it will continue with its ‘dress bottle’ strategy by promoting its product as a superhero, right down to showing a bottle with a cape.

Vanessa DeCarbo, director of corporate communications for Pom Wonderful, told NutraIngredients-USA.com that although the cape would remain the same across its markets, the message would be different to be nationally relevant.

Although the company did not comment on whether it would retain similar ‘cheat death’ claims for use in other global markets, DeCarbo suggested that the company’s communications tried to target a simple message about fruit and vegetable rich diets.

“Much of the healthy benefits of fruits and vegetables are attributable to their rich nutrient​content, which comes from vitamins, minerals and other unique antioxidant phytochemicals,”​ she stated. “Numerous scientific studies have shown that pomegranates and pomegranate juice are among the most nutrient dense of all fruits and vegetables.”

To back its own health claims, the company said it had already invested $30m to leading research institutions. Pom Wonderful says the strategy has led to the publication of numerous pieces of clinical research, some of which were conducted by researchers independent of the company, playing up potential health benefits to pomegranate juice.

Euro push

As the company now enters into discussions with retailers in Germany and other continental European markets to get the 100 per cent pomegranate juice on to shelves, DeCarbo claimed the group will have a unique position on the market.

“Because we squeeze the pomegranates ourselves and then bottle the juice in our own state of the art facility, we ensure a superior level of purity, consistency, and quality that is unmatched by any other producer,”​ she stated.

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