E-commerce Works, ‘Even in Wauchula’

Ernie NeffFlorida Department of Citrus


Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) Chairman Steve Johnson noted that as consumers continue to navigate life in a pandemic, growth of e-commerce shopping is expected to continue. “Even in Wauchula, Florida, Kroger delivery is taking hold,” Johnson wrote. Wauchula, with a population of about 5,000, is home to numerous citrus growers and grove workers.

Johnson stated that the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) is keeping e-commerce as the centerpiece of its campaign to drive sales of Florida orange juice (OJ). The FCC is the governing board for the FDOC.

“Since July, FDOC marketing has driven more than $5.1 million in attributed sales of Florida orange juice, putting the program well on its way toward the overall goal of $30 million in sales,” Johnson wrote.

The core of the program remains the same as the previous year, with partnerships at Kroger, Walmart, Instacart and Amazon already underway. But Johnson stated that “strategic adjustments have been made to expand reach and optimize performance.”

The FDOC program continues to reach lapsed and “light lapsed” OJ buyers with messages encouraging them to return to OJ. But it has grown to encourage all shoppers to keep OJ top of mind, Johnson stated. Another shift he cited is the addition of regional retailers to the program. The FDOC is including regional chain stores, such as Albertsons, Safeway and Food Lion.

“The department is also taking full advantage of advancements in technology that make working with digital-based e-commerce tools so attractive,” Johnson wrote. He explained that the program can be monitored in real time and adjusted instantly “to ensure the message, image, timing and placement of every engagement is reaching consumers and driving toward purchase.”

Sales of 100% orange juice are trending close to 2016 levels, as indicated in the latest Nielsen Retail Sales Report, reported Johnson. For the 4-week period ending Aug. 14, 2021, average year-over-year sales of total OJ are up by 13.2% compared to 2019 values. For NFC, the increase is 18% over 2019, reflecting a strong desire for Florida OJ.

Source: Florida Department of Citrus

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