SFU Library blog, BUEC Buzz, with colourful banner showing students

A current awareness resource for students & faculty members in Business & Economics

Researching Sun Rype and fruit juices to highlight a wealth of resources

Published by Mark Bodnar

I was researching Sun Rype ("a Canadian juice and fruit snack company based in Kelowna, BC") recently and noticed that my explorations were taking me into a very wide range of our resources.  I thought I'd post about the things I found as a way of highlighting some of our more obscure resources (plus some that I hope you all know!).

A. Starting off with our core Business journal/magazine database: Business Source Complete

A quick search for Sun Rype in the Company Name field gets me just over 20 hits, most from BC Business, Canadian Business, and Marketing Magazine.  Not that many hits, but broadening the search out to all articles with either Fruit juice or Fruit drinks in the Subject field gives me thousands of articles, many of which touch on trends and competitors. (Did you know there are some new caffeinated juices on the market?)

Publications on my initial result list range from business news (Forbes, etc.) to industry publications such as Nutraceuticals World and Beverage World.  And there are many industry profiles such as this global one, and this one focused on the United States.

B. The mention of things like caffeinated juices and nutraceuticals in my initial Business Source searches gets me thinking about Business Insights, a database of marketing  strategy reports (all from 2012 or earlier - no updates, I'm afraid).

A quick search for juices and I find:

  1. a 106-page report from 2010 on "Innovations in Fruit and Vegetable Juices: Emerging opportunities in premiumization, sustainability and positive health"; and
  2. a 109-page report from 2008 on "Emerging Opportunities in Fruit and Vegetable Juices: New markets, key innovation trends and development of health brands".

C. And now over to our main marketing database for fast-moving-consumer-goods: Passport GMID

Passport GMID is almost too rich on this topic to summarize the results.  A few quick searches for things like Sun Rype or juice and I find:

  1. a beautiful dashboard on fruit/vegetable markets in Canada and globally: Market size, growth rates, and more in one interactive image;
  2. detailed stats (often with forecasts) on the company & brand shares, distribution methods, pricing, ingredients, and market size by volume and value, again for both Canada and dozens of other countries;
  3. a recent briefing (14 pages) on Fruit/Vegetable Juice in Canada (trends, competitive landscape, etc.), as well as reports on related areas: bottled water, concentrates, carbonates, etc.;
  4. global reports and articles on trends in juice ingredients and packaging; and
  5. company reports on hundreds of fruit juice companies, including Sun Rype, each with details on strategic direction and competitive positioning.

D. How about IBISWorld, one of our newer industry resources?

Although IBISWorld doesn't have Canada-specific reports, it does offer very focused US reports that are often relevant to the Canadian industry, as well as a smaller selection of global and China reports.  A simple search for juice gets me reports such as:

  1. Juice Production in the US - 31211c
  2. Global Fruit & Vegetables Processing - C1112-GL
  3. Juice Production in China - 1533

E. So what if we needed info on the company's financials?

Sun Rype is publicly traded, so it's pretty easy to get financials directly from their site.  However, we can also use databases such as Informart or MINT Global to get data from multiple years laid out for easy comparison, as well as  extras such as reports on the company and on Juices in Canada, both published by MarketLine and available in MINT Global.

F. OK, so how about more data on consumer trends?

I next use our Print Measurement Bureau (PMB) Reports to find out that the Canadian consumers who report choosing Sun Rype most often among all fruit drinks tend to be female professionals with a trade or certificate of some sort, to have kids at home, and to live in Western Canada.  Most of that isn't surprising, although it's interesting to note that the people who report being the most frequent fruit juice drinkers overall are in Atlantic Canada and Quebec City.

Intrigued by the geographic/demographic variation in fruit juice sales, I jump over to SimplyMap-Canada to create a map of neighbourhoods in Western Canada colour-coded by the percentage of the population in the PRIZM category of Starter Nests. (Locally, neighbourhoods in East Van, Yaletown, Surrey, and NE Richmond seem to be the main areas for that demographic group.)

G. My initial search in Business Source covered many industry and business news sources, but I'd like to look in even more industry magazines, as well as in Canadian newspapers...

  1. LexisNexis: Great for general news published globally, but also for industry mags. I start by going to Sources > Browse Sources > Industry > Food & Beverage, where I find the Food and Beverages file which contains publications such as The Progressive Grocer and BMI Food & Drink Report.
  2. Canadian Newsstand: Covers major Canadian newspapers, as well as local papers in BC.  A quick search for "Sun Rype" gets me hundreds of hits, many of them on M&A activity involving the company over the years (remember that news articles often talk about the strategic implications of mergers and acquisitions!).  Narrowing to just the last few years gives me only a few dozen articles, but many of them appear to have useful information on consumer trends and the company's recent actions.

H. Thus far I've been focused on the resources that the SFU Library subscribes to, but of course there are many resources available on the open web. I'll just highlight a few that come to mind immediately:

  1. Government: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provide great reports on Fruit Juices in the United States, The Canadian Soft Drink Industry, and A Snapshot of the Canadian Fruit Industry. Similarly, the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service often has stats and reports such as this one on Citrus: World Markets and Trade.  Or, more locally, how about BC's Ministry of Agriculture and reports like the Tree Fruit Industry Profile?
  2. Associations: The Agri-Food Canada site mentioned above also provides a list of relevant industry associations.  Associations can be great places to find things like statistics and reports.

And all that is just an initial fast look at the resources available!  I'm not expecting you all to be as interested in Sun Rype and juice as I am (well, except for a certain 400-level class happening this summer...), but you may find these same resources and strategies will work for your product/industry.

Note that almost all the resources listed here can also be found listed in our Business research guides, especially the ones on Industry Surveys, Marketing Research, International Market Research, and Company Information.  Let me know if you don't find what you need: Mark Bodnar - mbodnar@sfu.ca