Juice maker expands at home, looks abroad

Food Revolution Group has signed deals with Coles, Woolworths and independent supermarkets to expand its healthy juice range.

Health drink maker The Food Revolution Group is predicting revenue to almost double thanks to a series of deals with major supermarkets and cafes.

The food and beverage maker will increase its range of juices sold at Woolworths and Coles from this month and has also signed distribution deals to sell its products at more than 2,000 outlets such as independent supermarkets, convenience stores and cafes.

The deals should generate more than $15 million in annual sales on top of the $17 million it recorded in FY15, and there could be even more to come as chief executive Bill Nikolovski looks to China for further growth.

Australia makes up 95 per cent of the Melbourne-based company's revenue, with China and Thailand its other two markets.

Companies including Blackmores, a2 Milk and Bellamy's are thriving thanks to Chinese demand for imported products seen as safe and healthy, and China is expected to eventually make up 50 per cent of Food Revolution's revenue.

"We are looking at the premium end of the market in China and if we can tap into that market, it is easily bigger than the Australian market," Mr Nikolovski said.

He said the company also plans to expand into South Korea, which also has a strong demand for healthy products that customers are willing to pay high prices for.

"Globally, there is a trend for better-for-you products, which means more natural, more functional and less processed products," Mr Nikolovski said.

"We are looking at leveraging our products and being disruptive."

Food Revolution was formerly LangTech, a developer of nutrient extraction technology for more than 20 years. It only launched on the Australian share market in February following a reverse takeover of gold miner Crest Minerals.

Mr Nikolovski said the company took over the Heinz bottling factory at Mill Park about two years ago and then merged with marketing and development company Thirsty Brothers to commercialise their products and technologies.

"We have all these technologies and products and realised the opportunity to commercialise them," he said.

He said the company's achievements included a sugarcane extract that has a low glycemic index, which it sold, and an extraction process that cranberry juice maker Ocean Spray uses.

The company's core products are its Juice Lab and Mixologist juice brands, and fruit-infused water Badu. But it also sells fibre and plans to expand into baby food.

Food Revolution issued 120 million shares at 10 cents a share with an implied market capitalisation of $29.4 million in February.

Its shares rose as much as 14.8 per cent in early trade on Monday before closing up half a cent, or 1.85 per cent, at 27.5 cents.

Source AAP

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