Juice company Simply Squeezed has launched a $4 million investment strategy that will see it double the amount of New Zealand oranges it squeezes over the next five years.
Chief executive Adrian Barr said the strategy was two-fold – sourcing more oranges under contract in New Zealand, and investing in greater processing facilities at its Bayview operation in Hawke’s Bay.
Simply Squeezed is the leading brand for chilled fruit beverages in New Zealand super markets and cafés.
The expansion includes a new fruit processing line, which will double capacity to manage increased fruit supply and ongoing demand for juice.
“Our investment is good news for both the local and national economy. It demonstrates a long-term commitment to growing the business, the economy, and supporting our growers and wider industry,” said Mr Barr.
“Growing New Zealand oranges reduces our reliance on imports, and in our mind New Zealand oranges make better tasting juice, even when blended with imported ingredients,” he said.
Simply Squeeze currently needs to support its local-grown orange supply with imported juice and concentrates because it can’t get enough New Zealand juicing oranges, said Mr Barr.
“We take every New Zealand juicing orange we can and we process about 7000 tonnes of fruit made up of both citrus and apples a year.
“By 2016 Simply Squeezed expects to grow fruit processing to more than 10,000 tonnes as the size of the New Zealand Orange crop increases with new plantings that have started over the past several years.
“We have a strong relationship with our growers who are also investing in their citrus industry by planting more trees and it’s these new plantings which gives us the confidence to continue to invest in processing buildings and equipment’ said Mr Barr.
One of the challenges with citrus crops is the bi-annual production with trees producing the main crop every second year.
“We take in oranges throughout the year but the main season is from December to June. Fruit surplus to immediate demand is still squeezed and the juice frozen for production during the year, so the additional space will enable us to manage the greater New Zealand orange crop.
Simply Squeezed has been “orangeing” since 1991 in Hawke’s Bay providing a sustainable juicing operation to New Zealand’s major growing region on the East Coast of New Zealand.
Frucor purchased the business in 2009. Today Simply Squeezed is the largest chilled juice manufacturing business in New Zealand.
It is the market leader in the chilled juice segment. It has a strong position in supermarkets and the HORECA (hotels, restaurants, cafes) channel, through its flagship Simply Squeezed brand, as well as Supreme, Bay Harvest, and Allganics.
The company employs 100 staff, with 80 based in Hawke’s Bay. It has 43 franchises across New Zealand and 22 grower suppliers.
- Just over half an orange is juice and pulp
- Ten good size oranges make a litre of juice
- Valencia is the main orange variety used for juicing
- No other word rhymes with Orange – that we know of!
Photo caption: Simply Squeezed purchasing manager Jonathan Crawley and Chief Executive Adrian Barr - toast the $4 million investment.