Juice maker finds novel way to cash in on coronavirus

The Food Revolution Group, which supplies to supermarkets Coles and Woolworths, revived its fortunes on Tuesday morning after the juice maker found a novel way to cash in on the coronavirus.

Shares of the stockmarket minnow jumped nearly 50 per cent after it announced it was gearing up to bottle hand sanitiser instead of juices to take advantage of the coronavirus-induced opportunity in Asia, noting the "high demand" due to the global virus outbreak.

The company is best known as a provider of fruit and vegetable juices to Coles, Woolworths and Aldi under its Original Juice Black Label it acquired from Golden Circle last year, but has struggled financially.

A Chinese worker wears a protective mask suit as he checks customers temperatures in a shopping area in Beijing.Credit:Getty Images

Food Revolution reported a $15.7 million loss in 2019.

Last year, the company said it would continue to sell Black Label orange juice to Australian supermarkets, but has also created new products that will launch soon. It was building the facility in Mill Park in Melbourne to make "high-margin functional gels and powder sachets", which are of interest to Chinese customers.

The stock soared from Monday’s close of 5.7¢ to a high of 8.5¢ this morning after it said it was sourcing hand sanitiser to bottle at its new state-of-the-art production line and plans to start production before the end of the month.

It will initially rely on its the daigou distribution partner Careline Australia, controlled by Food Revolution chairman Norman Li, to meet the “unprecedented demand for hand sanitiser locally and from China, which is in short supply due to the coronavirus”.

"The versatility of Food Revolution's upgraded plant with clean room and bottling capacity to meet the substantial demands of the Chinese market is evidenced by these developments and vindicates the company's decision to invest in the new clean room factory to provide constant supply of high-quality Australian products to the Chinese market," said Mr Li in the company's statement.

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