Giampaolo Dal Pane might be better known in the fresh produce trade as one of its leading marketers of kiwifruit, but the man behind the Summerkiwi brand is branching out into the pomegranate juice business with the launch of Melo Drink, a new venture aimed at tapping into rising demand for healthy and convenient refreshment on the go.
As Dal Pane explains, pomegranates are attracting the attention of more and more consumers after being touted as a superfood alongside other notable beneficiaries of the same term like blueberries, sweet potatoes and kale.
While the research isn’t altogether consistent, what is clear is that pomegranates do contain things like vitamins, tannins and other antioxidants that are known to be good for human health. Dal Pane is certain that this is driving up demand.
“Pomegranates are becoming more important,” he tells Eurofruit. “In terms of antioxidants, a pomegranate has three times what a blueberry has. These cleanse your arteries, reduce your blood pressure. If it wasn’t such a healthy thing to consume it wouldn’t have taken off in the way it has and had the success it has had.”
The Melo Drink concept is simple. A newly established company called WellNess, based near Ravenna, sources fresh pomegranates from South Africa and, after running the necessary checks to ensure quality is high, delivers them to around 4,000 bars across Italy on a weekly basis. In each bar there is a juicing machine, which is used to produce freshly squeezed drinks on demand.
“It’s a simple but highly effective supply chain,” Dal Pane comments. “I import the pomegranates, check for any bad fruit and then put it in my cartons and distribute it. We supply direct to the bars, where they make the juice and sell it.”