In a June 19 email to members of the citrus industry, Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) Chairman Ned Hancock noted that orange juice (OJ) sales climbed in the 2019-20 season. That’s noteworthy because OJ sales had been declining for years.
Hancock reported that total OJ sales for the season beginning October 2019 are up by 10.4 percent with 309 million equivalent gallons sold, according to the latest Nielsen retail sales report. In the four-week period ending June 6, average year-over-year sales of total OJ increased 24 percent with 34.65 million equivalent gallons sold. Sales of not-from-concentrate (NFC) OJ increased by 26 percent for the period. Additionally, total grapefruit juice sales were up by 1.9 percent for the season with total sales of 8.34 million equivalent gallons sold so far this season.
“To sustain this traction, marketing programs will continue through the summer at a higher level than years past with approximately 20 percent of the budget planned to be used between July and September,” Hancock stated. The marketing programs he referred to are those of the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC), which the FCC governs. “We will continue our close work with (FDOC marketing agency) Edible to build a larger 2020-21 plan to present to the commission in September,” Hancock reported. That plan will feature strategies that specifically support Florida grower returns and highlight NFC OJ.
On June 17, the FCC approved a preliminary 2020-21 FDOC operating budget of $19.875 million with $10 million allocated to domestic marketing. That budget is contingent on approval of state general revenue funds by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The FCC will set the Florida grower tax rate for oranges going into juice in October, following the first U.S. Department of Agriculture crop forecast of the season.
Hancock invited industry members to view a video of the June 17 FCC meeting, where marketing programs and budgets were discussed and acted upon.
He also encouraged the industry to attend a webinar June 25 at 11:30 a.m. that will provide insights on the 2019-20 citrus season, including FDOC economist Marisa Zansler’s analysis of the latest Nielsen retail sales data. Details are available here.
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