The best place for juice in the produce department is on an eye-level shelf in the refrigerated case.


But with the trend toward convenience and on-the-go foods, refrigerated space is hard to come by. Juice producers are fighting for their share of the shelf space, though.


Blue Lake Citrus Products, Winter Haven, Fla., which produces Noble Juice, launched its tree-to-bottle program in January under the Noble Select brand with a lower price point to earn its keep in the prime real estate. Wade Groetsch, president, said there has been pressure to reduce price as the economy continues to struggle and juice consumption declines.


The company's Noble Pure and Noble Organic line of tangerine blended juice is made with tangerines that are harvested at peak ripeness during the growing season. The juice is processed, frozen and stored until needed throughout the year.


With Noble Select, the fruit is harvested, squeezed and put in the bottle at the time of juicing.


"That allows us to cut some of the cost of the storage." Groetsch said. "It gives us a second-best to fresh. We have done this at a very aggressive price point and are on the shelf anywhere from $2 to $3 per half gallon less that some of the other competitors on the market."


He also said the company decided to use an inexpensive, traditional half-gallon milk jug for the Noble Select line as another cost-control measure.


The line of perishable juices from Sambazon Inc., San Clemente, Calif., offer retailers a great spectrum of colors with which to attract consumers. It also provides a full line of point-of-sale materials, hang tags, shelf danglers, and headers for coolers. But Jeremy Black, vice president of marketing, said the best merchandising technique it employs is in-store demos.


"Demos can be difficult and are often shied away from, but they work very well for us. It has been our strategy. We have gone out and handed out samples to start this company from scratch," he said.


Retailers looking for a premium-tasting juice that won't take up space in the refrigerated case might consider Dream Foods International's Volcano Lemon Burst and Volcano Lime Burst squeeze bottles. The Santa Monica, Calif.-based company offers shippers, hangers and wire baskets to merchandise its squeeze bottles next to fresh lemons and limes, said Adriana Kahane, founder and president of Dream Foods.


The squeeze bottles taste much better than traditional lime or lemon-shaped bottles of juice because they don't use any harsh preservatives. Rather, they have a receptacle built into the bottle that holds the fruits zest so each time it is squeezed, real zest is emitted with the juice, which only contains citrus acid to preserve its freshness, she said.