Retail sales of orange juice (OJ) trended at pre-2019 levels throughout the 2020-21 season. And for the latest four-week period ending Sept. 11, OJ trended at pre-2017 levels. Economist Marisa Zansler recently presented this information to the Florida Citrus Commission (FCC). Zansler is director of economic and market research for the Florida Department of Citrus, which the FCC governs.
Fueled by consumers who continue to seek out foods and beverages that support health, as well as by sustained use of e-commerce, year-over-year sales of total OJ were up 13% compared to 2019, Zansler said. She reported that not-from-concentrate (NFC) OJ sales were up 20%.
While OJ volume sales have been strong well into 2021, long-term challenges persist for the category, Zansler said. A continued trend this season is the average increase in the price of total OJ, up 6.4% for NFC year over year compared to 2019. This was accompanied by lower volume of retail sales sold on promotional activity when compared to 2019. An average of 26% of NFC was sold on promotion this year compared to 29% over the same eight months last year and compared to 35% in 2019. This decline in promotional retail sales contributed to the 6% increase in the average price per equivalent gallon. Meanwhile, volume sales of reconstituted OJ in 2021 were associated with higher retail promotional activity when compared to several previous years.
For grapefruit juice, sales tracked slightly above 2019 levels and there were fewer sales on promotional activity. Total distribution continued a multiyear downward trend with an 11% decrease.
The data shows many consumers are still shopping with COVID-19 concerns in mind. Twenty-nine percent indicate they are purchasing more OJ amid concerns of COVID-19, and 12% indicate they are purchasing less. In a continuation of the previous year’s trend, the No. 1 reason consumers purchased more OJ in response to the pandemic was for its ability to support a healthy immune system, according to FDOC’s OJ Consumer Tracker.
Source: Florida Department of Citrus
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