New Samoan Noni Drinks Headed For New Zealand

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Kiwi fruit, energy drinks will be on shelves by year’s end

By Aigaletaule’ale’a F. Tauafiafi

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Sept. 27, 2012) – A new brand of fruit juice made from Samoan nonu, known as noni in other parts of the Pacific, will hit the New Zealand market by the end of this year.

Developed by Pure Pacifica, La’auli Michael Jones’ company, the first two flavors are set for full production next month.

La’auli told the Samoa Observer the new juice line would be marketed under the brand name, Eden.

"So far the drinks we’re working on are Kiwifruit-Nonu, Apple-Nonu, Orange-Nonu, a variety of sparklings, and an energy drink," he said.

The first two drinks, ‘Zeta’ an energy drink, and the Kiwifruit-Nonu blend will go into full production by October and be available on New Zealand supermarket shelves and outlets nationwide.

La’auli said the move was important as the company needed to broaden its nonu product range because of a slowdown in the bulk nonu market in China.

"The Chinese market is slow but we can’t wait around for China to get going so we had to look at other opportunities for Samoan nonu. We have been working hard to broaden our range of products to appeal to a wide array of markets."

The move to the blends is based on market research identifying the nonu blends market as promising. And together with positive comments from a series of product samplings, the decision was made for Zeta and Kiwifruit-Nonu drinks to be the first to test the market.

There is confidence of success as the nonu blends appeal to a wider market "because you can taste a little bit of the nonu but the taste of the other fruits dominates," said Laauli.

"And the great thing is that you don’t lose the potency of the nonu. Every bottle contains the minimal daily allocation you need to stay healthy."

La’auli said initial indications are positive that New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Europe and Southeast Asia markets will take to the new Eden products.

But at the same time, they are taking a more measured approach to preparing the blends for their market debut.

"We have learned to take things one step at a time. We have enough networks and the distribution to test the market and we have taken time to get alongside good partners so we don’t end up re-inventing the wheel."

Partners include Nectar, which will produce, bottle and distribute the blends. And in the development of the Zeta energy drink, "we have teamed-up with the people who make the ‘V’ energy drink," he said.

"So, yes, we see a lot of potential but we’re not getting ahead of ourselves."

He also re-affirmed that Pure Pacifica’s priority and main product is still bulk nonu juice.

"Yes, bulk nonu is our mainstay and real priority because we know the market can pick up and take off at any time so we’re working hard in the background to make sure we don’t miss out when that happens.

"We are committed to Samoa long term and so we really appreciate the patience of our people back home in Samoa."

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