Frucor Suntory

Our Story

Hungry to make drinks better.

Our hunger to innovate and create beverages that satisfies tomorrow’s thirst has been with us since our first beverage Fresh Up came off the line in 1962.

Although our mission with Fresh Up was simple – to turn leftover apples into a great tasting juice – it was enough to whet our appetite to continue to create more beverages that not only tasted great, but added value to the lives of our customers.

Since then, our hunger has led us on a journey to create some of the most celebrated drinks on the market – and join the ranks of one of the world’s leading beverage and food companies, Suntory.

Find out more about Suntory

Our achievements

Safest Workplace 2020

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Reduce plastic bottle ouput

Since 2020 Frucor has strived to reduce our environmental footprint, switching to biodegrable or recycable packaging solutions.

Diversity Intiative

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Limiting sugar as ingredient

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Timeline

1962

The idea

It all started with the idea to turn reject export apples into a great tasting juice. This great tasting juice turned out to be Fresh Up, which fast became a staple for many Kiwi households.


Back then we were part of the New Zealand Apple and Pear Marketing Board, and produced around 1,000 cans of Fresh Up per day.

1972

Game changer

Although Kiwis enjoyed the taste of Fresh Up, they had to use a can opener to drink it! So the team decided to repackage Fresh Up in tear tab cans to make it easier to get into the product.

1978

It’s got to be good for you

New Zealand Olympic gold medallist Sir John Walker becomes the first “face” of Fresh Up. The gold medallist cements his place with Kiwis with the catchphrase, “It’s got to be good for you!”


Legend has it that John came up with the iconic catchphrase out of sheer frustration, as he was unable to remember his lines. The ad became so popular it ended up running on TV for 10 years!

1980

A new dawn

By the beginning of the 1980s, Kiwis’ thirst for juice was on the rise – so much so that by the middle of the decade, sales for juice in New Zealand began to treble year-on-year.


Not one to rest on our laurels, we decided to meet the demand by introducing new brands and packaging to the market.

1982

A big year

To meet the increase in demand for great tasting juices, we launched our tropical blends Just Juice range. The range came in variety of pack sizes and flavours people could consume on the go or at home. New ingredient technology allowed us to use apple juice in a number of different juice flavour blends.


Unlike Fresh Up, Just Juice came from a brand new factory with Tetra Pak packaging that protected it from light, oxygen, air, dirt, moisture and was more light weight.

1989

The genuine article

Towards the end of the 1980s, Kiwis’ thirst for juice began to change…many consumers wanted a juice that contained premium ingredients. What they wanted was The Real McCoy. So that’s what we gave them!


The following year, the Apple & Pear Board becomes known as ENZA.

1992

Another big year

During the 1990s we’d continue to reach important milestones – two of which would happen this year.


The first, the acquisition of NZ Natural; the second, we became one of the first companies in the world to hot-fill juice into plastic PET bottles.

1995 - 1996

We are Frucor

Fresh Up, Just Juice, The Real McCoy and NZ Natural is grouped under the Frucor Beverages brand – a subsidiary of ENZA. We built a new warehouse and creating a new manufacturing plant in the previous warehouse. During this period we start to look beyond our shores and enter other markets.


We become the first non-European country to introduce a 1 litre tetra recap pack. Frucor buys 75% of Stefan’s to create the first nationally distributed, chilled squeezed juice, and launched Fruition – a sparkling fruit-flavoured mineral water.


We build an $8 million bottling warehouse facility in Auckland. Just Juice continues to reinvent itself with the first 125ml tetra pack and the release of Wobbly – New Zealand’s first ever jelly drink.

1997

V is born

1997 is the year V Energy is released to the New Zealand beverage market. With the help of a tongue and cheek advertising campaign, the energy drink in a green 250ml slim can becomes hugely popular with Kiwis achieving 1200% of the annual sales budget!. A year later, in 1998, V Energy would become a favourite with consumers in Australia and South Africa. The launch was so successful that we had to airfreight two containers of empty cans from the US and then, when we ran out again, quickly launch the glass 350ml bottle – not in the original launch plans, but still successful today.

1998

Changing hands

Goodbye ENZA and hello Fyers Wickham and Pacific. After 38 years, Frucor leaves ENZA. This opens us up to new opportunities to innovate and introduce new drinks for Kiwis and our global partners to enjoy.


We were growing so fast in Australia that we used our NZ sales force to fly over and help drive the business in Australia.

1999

Growing our portfolio

During this time we strike up a partnership with PepsiCo to add more drinks to our growing portfolio. The partnership gives us the rights to manufacture and distribute soft drinks Pepsi, 7Up, Mountain Dew as well as the sports drink Gatorade to Kiwis.


It was also the year we bought and released our second hydration brand, h2go which also comes with 6000 fridges, trebling what we had previously and giving greater visibility to the rest of the portfolio.

2000

Change

The turn of the millennium is huge for us, especially with the expansion of V Energy into the United Kingdom and Ireland. V reached the number2 brand in the UK Petrol and Convenience channel.


We also achieve an important – though brief – milestone in our history, by becoming listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange. We would eventually be sold and therefore de-listed in 2002.


Mizone Sports Water is released to Kiwis, while Aussies would have to wait till the following year before they could taste the sports drink with antioxidants to reduce tiredness and fatigue.


We establish Frucor Australia in 2001 with only two products – V 250ml slim green cans and V 350ml green glass.

2002

Milestone

September 9, 2002 is an important date for us. It’s the day the 100 millionth 250ml slim green can of V Energy was produced. And yes – we couldn’t help ourselves but introduce the push and go sipper topper on G-Force.


Frucor New Zealand and Frucor Australia is acquired by Danone, and so we say goodbye to Fyers Wickham and Pacific.

2003

All about water

We introduce Mizone sports water to China, launch the h2go flavoured range in New Zealand and Australia and the following year, continue to grow our hydration portfolio with the introduction of our h2go sparkling range.

2005

The success of V Energy

To capitalise on the incredible success V is having across the Tasman and in other markets abroad, we launch the big V 500ml giving people the option to carry more energy on the go with them. We also begin to introduce new variants and flavours of the V energy drink from the mid-2000s onwards.


Our ads for V Energy continue to resonate and adapt to reflect current trends. And this year the V brand was bigger than all of the Coke brands in the Petrol and Convenience channel!

2006

Our fame is Danone wide

Frucor holds a worldwide Innovation Seminar and Workshop which is attended by 50 senior Danone Management staff – a Danone first. The seminar is so successful that all 50 participants give it score of 4 out of 4.

2009

We join Suntory

Frucor joins the fold of what will become Suntory Beverage and Food Limited. We also continue to diversify and grow our portfolio with the acquisition of Hawke’s Bay Beverage Company, Simply Squeezed.


Simply Squeezed enters the Frucor fold with minimal changes for the staff, orchardists who supply the fruit, and distributors.


Simply Squeezed still remains in Hawke’s Bay, the fruit bowl of New Zealand.

2010

Leading the pack

V Energy continues to sky-rocket and is introduced to a number of new markets in Europe. We also launched Frucor Brands International in Amsterdam. We continue to innovate and plan new V Energy flavours and pack sizes to be released in the years to come.


Frucor was awarded NZ best IPO for the decade 2001-2010.

2011

Second year running

Frucor Suntory receives the AON Hewitt Best Employer award – and goes on to win the award for a second time in 2013.


The award marks an important milestone in our history, recognising our people’s pride and passion for their work. It also marks the importance in creating a work environment our people can thrive in.


V Blue launches in the summer of 2012 – and quickly becomes a staple in our V Energy range.

2014

Huge investment

We open our new state of the art research and development centre in Manukau, South Auckland.


The $6 million centre is part of an $85 million five year innovation and technology investment programme at our North Island plant. Funded by Suntory, the substantial investment shows strong support and belief in Frucor’s international expansion ability.


The new facility is an important milestone, providing a direct link to our factory, self-contained services, space for new equipment and room for the full team to be working together.


In 2015, the 1 billionth can of V is produced and Pepsi Max is released into market.

2016

New partnerships

Gatorade becomes the official hydration partner of the All Blacks, and we announce partnerships with Starship Foundation and Surf Life Saving New Zealand. Frucor is recognised as New Zealand’s best employer by AON Hewitt for a third time.

2017

We are Frucor Suntory

We become Frucor Suntory.


Frucor Suntory commits to the Healthy Kids Pledge and we begin our journey to make one in three of our drinks sugar free by 2030. We also join CEMARS – which would later become known as Toitū – and begin to formally implement and measure strategies to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in almost every one of our departments, from procurement and finance to sales and logistics, and everything in between.


We’d also begin to implement our sustainability strategy to reach our five 2030 sustainability goals.

2018 – 2019

A new line-up

Between 2018 and 2019 there is a clear focus on introducing drinks to satisfy the diversified thirsts of our customers.


This was a huge year of innovation and change for us, especially with the introduction of our first Kombucha beverage, Amplify. Amplify was born out of our passion to create a drink that tastes great, and contains goodness in every flavour.


We also strengthen our partnership with Suntory by introducing BOSS Coffee – a coffee in a can from Japan – to Australian and New Zealand consumers. We launched Pepsi Minis to the Australasian market too.


NZ Natural becomes our first majority sustainable brand. 

2020

A year of firsts

We become the first FMCG business in New Zealand to implement equal gender paid parental leave, we introduced a new global online learning platform – and we are named a winner of the Human Resources Director (HRD) NZ Employer of Choice Awards for 2020.


We begin to see the tangible results we’re making when it comes to achieving our goals. Toitū names us as one of the Top 10 Carbon Reducers, illustrating our work since 2017 to reduce our carbon emissions by 2030.


Last, but not least, we unveil one of New Zealand’s first reverse vending machines at University of Otago.

Frucor Suntory News

Taking the next step at Frucor Suntory

Frucor Suntory’s graduate programme is designed to offer credible experience to help set our recruits up for success. Take Emma Larsen, who is about to