Shannon Shepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC), reports that total orange juice (OJ) sales are performing at 2016 levels.
“In the four week-period ending Dec. 26, 2020, average year-over-year sales of total OJ increased 7.68 percent with nearly 37.39 million equivalent gallons sold, according to the latest Nielsen retail sales update,” Shepp says. “Volume sales of NFC (not from concentrate) OJ are up 10.49 percent for the period with nearly 23.2 million equivalent gallons of NFC sold. Volume sales of recon OJ are up by 2.66 percent with nearly 11.7 million equivalent gallons sold.”
According to Shepp, consumers continue to seek out OJ for its health benefits. “Since March, 27 percent of respondents in the FDOC’s monthly survey of American consumers have indicated they purchased more orange juice due to concerns over COVID-19,” she reports. “Of those, 50 percent have indicated they wanted to stock up on essentials, 68 percent indicated it was due to the health and wellness attributes of 100 percent orange juice, and 12 percent indicated it was because they were having breakfast more often at home. Furthermore, of the 11 percent who had indicated they were purchasing less OJ amid concerns associated with COVID-19, 27 percent had indicated it was because orange juice was out of stock.”
As vaccinations begin to roll out and consumers can return to their normal routines, Shepp says attention must turn toward maintaining demand by keeping 100 percent orange juice top of mind. “Total OJ movement from Florida processors is up 5 percent this season over last, and there are currently less than 13 weeks supply of NFC OJ. Further demand would require increased imports. The key to the success of Florida growers will be keeping demand in line with the ability to produce Florida oranges. Continued marketing programs at retail, where the majority of orange juice containing Florida-sourced oranges is sold, is a viable strategy at this stage.”
Last year, the Florida Citrus Commission recognized this need to foster and protect demand when they voted to increase the assessment rate for processed oranges. “Today, we see those additional dollars going to work in the form of new partnerships with Kroger, banner ads with Instacart, further work with Amazon, a video to reach retail category managers and an expanded target audience that now reaches light and lapsed OJ buyers encouraging them to consume more,” Shepp says. “The Kroger program, which launched last month, has driven more than $1.5 million in directly attributable sales in the past four weeks alone at an extremely strong ROAS (return on advertising spend) of $18.46.”
Source: Florida Department of Citrus
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