New reports from the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) Economic and Market Research Department show that U.S. orange juice (OJ) sales continue to surge.
The FDOC’s “Retail Sales Trends: Report #7 of the 2019-20 Season Period Ending 04/11/2020” includes data from the Nielsen Topline Report. It shows average year-over-year (YOY) total OJ sales increased by 46 percent to 44.05 million equivalent gallons for the four-week period ending April 11. Average YOY not-from-concentrate (NFC) sales increased by 50 percent, while average reconstituted frozen concentrate (recon) sales increased by 35 percent. OJ sales for the season since October 2019 are up by 6 percent.
OJ prices also saw gains. The average YOY total OJ price increased by 3.5 percent to $7.23 per equivalent gallon. NFC prices increased by 3.27 percent, while recon prices rose by 1.69 percent.
An April 30 FDOC report, “Overview of Recent OJ Retail Sales Trends and Florida Processor Movement,” revealed that OJ sales were strongest for the week ending April 11 in the U.S. Southern region. This region registered the largest gain in volume movement of approximately 5.8 million gallons total OJ compared to the same period last year. The Southern region also registered the largest percentage change in volume movement of 48.7 percent, followed by the Midwest at 47.8 percent, the Northeast at 44 percent and the Western region at 38.1 percent.
According to the FDOC report, reasons for the increase in orange juice sales include:
- Pantry preparation/pandemic shopping
- Increased consumer traffic to traditional groceries and large-scale stores
- Increased consumer online purchases and use of grocery delivery services
- Health and wellness nutritional benefits of orange juice
- Increase in consumption of breakfast from home
The report included results of a survey question that asked consumers if their purchases of 100% OJ changed in response to the recent COVID-19 outbreak in the past 30 days. Thirty-nine percent of respondents indicated they purchased more OJ, 55 percent reported no change, and 6 percent purchased less OJ.
The report concluded that several questions remain to be answered about OJ sales going forward. These include:
- What are the long-term changes in consumer behavior?
- Will there be a reversal of the loss in shelf space of OJ?
- Will lapsed buyers stay for the long-run?
- Will active buyers maintain increased frequency of purchase?
- What will be the “new normal” baseline?