OJ Sales One Year into the Pandemic

Ernie NeffOrange Juice

OJ
Steve Johnson

Florida Citrus Commission Chairman Steve Johnson recently discussed the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on sales of Florida orange juice (OJ).  

“We witnessed sales (of OJ) soar in the initial weeks (of the pandemic) as consumers stockpiled their pantries with kitchen staples and sought out healthy foods and beverages that provide immune support,” Johnson reported in an email to members of the Florida citrus industry. “Americans continued to purchase orange juice at high levels throughout the year citing vitamin C and immune support as drivers.”

“As we hit the one-year mark of this transformative event, we can expect that some of these behaviors will have lasting impacts, and we’ll work hard to ensure they do,” Johnson added. “However, we know that we will not see the same drastic year-over-year sales growth as experienced in the past 12 months. The ultimate goal is to see that our volume sales this year continue to outpace the sales volumes of 2019.”

Johnson noted that for the four-week period ending Feb. 20, OJ sales tracked above 2017 sales volumes by 2.48% and above 2018 sales volumes by 3.13%.

“We are starting to see a shift in the reason behind why consumers say they purchased orange juice amid concerns over the pandemic,” Johnson continued. “Consumers who indicated that they purchased OJ due to COVID-19 concerns are increasingly reporting that they purchased more due to a request for OJ by their families or children who have likely grown accustomed to drinking it as part of their daily routine. The percentage reporting they purchased OJ due to its health benefits also continues to increase. Meanwhile, a leading reason for purchasing less orange juice amid COVID-19 concerns continues to be due to it being unavailable or out of stock.”

According to Johnson, orange juice and grapefruit juice have been some of the highest performing products in the beverage category throughout the pandemic. “This is positive news because we understand the momentum behind the sales increase throughout 2020 had to do with consumer awareness. But it should also serve as a reminder to us all: We must do the work to support this momentum in the market.”

Source: Florida Department of Citrus

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