Business South August 2022

| 71 Eden Juice Cherry juice in demand Eden Juice founders Gary and Steph Bignell at Raeward Fresh in Harewood. PRODUCTION Kim Newth Eden Juice has been on a fast growth trajectory since launching in 2017 with its New Zealand-made 100% Pure Cherry Juice, with this year’s focus now on the Australian market. Commerce graduate Cameron Bignell and his cherry orchardist parents Gary and Steph put in two years of hard work to develop their product. “We needed to be sure that both taste and consistency were just right before we went to full product launch,” says Cameron, whose parents have been in the business of growing and selling fresh cherries for more than 30 years. Eden’s Pure Cherry Juice has proved a winner in the market, with demand driving rapid growth of the company’s Alexandra-based processing operation. Today, Eden Juice employs eight full-time staff and up to 20 part-timers during the production period. “After launching, we quickly realised people were buying our juice for lots of different health reasons and for the taste. We then decided to expand into other berries that have good properties like blueberries. We’ve just launched cherry and raspberry, and cherry and blackberry juice and also have a sparkling juice range to provide a refreshing drink with no added sugar.” In New Zealand, Eden Juice has an extensive line-up of stockists and regular clientele. Export markets include Taiwan and Korea, with the biggest export destination being Australia. “We’ve been selling online in Australia since the start of last year, but this year we’re working to expand there more heavily,” says Cameron, now flying Eden’s flag across the Tasman. “We’re doing eight trade shows in Proudly supporting Eden Juice by providing them with great forklift rental solutions for a wide range of equipment. Don't fool around with your lifting gear, call the experts: Forktruck Specialists We're here to help you get ahead and stay ahead of your competition: Forkl ift Rental Speci l ists Forktruck Specialists Ltd 03 455 2651 • Forklifts • Sales • Service • Parts • Rentals Mainstream offers domestic freight, warehousing, and international freight services with 15 branches across the country. Technology driven, service oriented, and our extensive network all revolves around providing the very best in taking your goods not only across the country but across the world. Get in touch with your local team. Contact your local Mainstream team today Australia this year and I’ll be here for the whole year pushing sales. People here are very conscious of their health and well-being – it’s a good place for us to be.” Cameron also sees big opportunities ahead in the food service industry. “We’re always experimenting with other products like cherry powder to use the pulp we get from cherry juice.” The Bignell family first experienced the positive effect of cherries on their sleep while growing the fruit at the family orchard. Better sleep always seemed to be a by-product of eating fresh cherries in season. “Not enough research has been done on the bioactive properties of fruit grown in New Zealand. We’re exploring that ourselves in conjunction with Massey University and a few other companies. In the meantime, we’re very encouraged by our customers’ feedback. Many say our juice has helped with arthritis and gout, sleeping and other things. We’ve had over one thousand five-star reviews since launching our review platform a year ago.” Based in the heart of New Zealand’s premier cherry growing region, Eden Juice has few concerns about sourcing the raw materials for its operations. Last year, the company processed 350 tonnes of cherries and expects to process at least 400 tonnes this year. “We can use the cherries that don’t look as aesthetic as the ones sold fresh to consumers. We can also use the most tasty and ripe cherries that don’t have the legs to make it to the Auckland market in time. We’re not competing in that sense – we’re a complementary product providing that pure cherry taste year-round.” Eden Juice has found ingenious solutions to recruitment challenges through Covid times. Last year they reached out to the NZ Motorhome Association and had a great response.