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Just Juice turns 40: The juicy story so far

Get out the good glasses and join us in a toast: Just Juice is turning 40 this week.

As with any milestone birthday, this is an occasion not just to celebrate, but to reflect back on years past. And with Just Juice having been embraced by Kiwis from the get-go, you’d be hard-pressed to find a household that didn’t have memories of birthdays, playtimes and sports days fuelled by those iconic little tetra packs.

With the massive range of beverages on supermarket shelves these days, it can be easy to forget that back when Just Juice launched in 1981, flavoured drinks and juices were considered something of a luxury item in Aotearoa.

As Senior Brand Manager Lana Blair explains, part of Just Juice’s immediate appeal was in its accessibility – it was the every-occasion drink for everyday Kiwi lifestyles.

“At the time, there was nothing on the market that matched its taste, or that took advantage of Tetra pack technology. Just Juice was truly in a league of its own,” she says.

“During those early days, it was hugely important for us to show Just Juice in the hands of everyday Kiwis, who shared the same ambitions, aspirations and values as New Zealand, and who deserved a beverage that reflected that.”

From day one, television advertising (then itself coming into its own in New Zealand) was a big part of the Just Juice story, explains Lana.

“Our first TV commercial featured British comedian Kenny Everett, who brought fun and excitement – showing Kiwis how they could enjoy Just Juice on the go.”

“From there, Just Juice sales rocketed; helping to treble the size of the New Zealand juice market from 1982 to 1985”.

Heading into the 90s, Lana says it became important to amplify the aspirational qualities of the brand; tapping into our burgeoning thirst for new places and experiences by moving from a Pure Fruit, Pure Taste proposition to one that was Uniquely Tropical.

“We had to flip the script, dial up the fun, take ownership of those dreams of somewhere tropical. Creating a warm, sunny, family-holiday mood with Just Juice”.

Bringing this to life required someone who embodied everything this new Just Juice mood was, and that’s how American Blues Musician Taj Mahal became the face, and voice, of Just Juice for a generation of Kiwis (sing it with us: “Hey, Just Juice”).

“The ads featuring Taj kicked off in 1994 and lasted until the end of 1999. It was a hugely successful campaign for Just Juice,” says Lana.

“NZ musician Andy Lynch – who would go on to join the band Zed– starred alongside Taj in the iconic 1994 ad.”

With the new millennium came an obsession with all things innovative. Just Juice continued to surprise and delight taste buds with Just Juice Bubbles, Just Juice Splash, and more recently Just Juice Pulp’d, says Lana

“Just Juice heads into its 40th year at a time when Kiwis are more than ever craving nostalgia, comfort and the taste of something they know and love that they can share with whānau and friends.

We’re honoured to have been there for Kiwis for 40 years, and excited to be part of good times for another 40, and beyond.”

Cheers to that.