There were numerous reports in 2020 about the significant increase in consumer demand for orange juice (OJ) at the retail level during the COVID-19 pandemic. But Florida Department of Citrus economist Marisa Zansler recently reported that “the same can be said about the significant increases in sales volumes of other citrus products … Notably, within the retail fruit juice category, grapefruit juice sales (by volume) are currently at pre-2018 levels.”
Zansler’s comments were reported in the December issue of the Indian River Citrus League’s River Ramblings newsletter. In that report, Zansler noted that most of the product’s consumption boost has been in the not-from-concentrate (NFC) category. “The majority of Florida-sourced grapefruit juice is sold as NFC at retail” with 83 percent of Florida processed grapefruit boxes utilized into single-strength juice, the report stated.
The report added that the impact of the increased juice sales on Florida processor inventories has been positive. It noted that movement of single-strength grapefruit juice, in terms of pounds solids, was up by 24 percent in the early part of the 2020-21 season.
“Much like orange juice, it is reasonable to assume that retail volume sales of grapefruit juice can be linked to an increase in consumer traffic to traditional grocery channels” as well as consumer awareness of the juice as a health and wellness beverage, the report stated.
Zansler noted that “challenges persist for processed grapefruit juice that include Florida-sourced grapefruit. Any additional boost in sales at retail may have been tempered by the decline in distribution occurring over the last decade … In the frozen-concentrated grapefruit juice category, Florida inventories are at an all-time high.”
“In summary,” the report stated, “the demand for Florida citrus products remains strong due to consumer awareness of the nutritional content.”
Source: Florida Department of Citrus, as reported in the December issue of the Indian River Citrus League’s River Ramblings newsletter
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