Orange juice (OJ) recently accounted for more than half of the fruit juice purchased by households, Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) economist Marisa Zansler told the Florida Citrus Commission on March 16. Citing a report on the Household Purchase Dynamics in the Beverage Category, Zansler added that grapefruit juice represented only about 1.5% of fruit juice sales. All fruit juice represented about 2.6% of volume movement in the beverage category in 2021, she said.
Zansler, director of economic and market research at the FDOC, said the beverage category is increasingly crowded with new and trendy beverages that are added each year. She noted that traditional beverage categories experienced declining household penetration and reduced buying rates among consumers. Zansler said dollar sales in the beverage category contracted by 7.6% in 2021. That is not surprising, she said, given the significant increase in consumer traffic to traditional retail spaces during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Average season year-to-date not-from-concentrate (NFC) OJ sales are up 11.2% compared to the pre-COVID-19 baseline season of 2019–20, Zansler reported. But sales of reconstituted OJ are down by 1.4% compared to 2019–20, she added.
Current year-over-year total OJ sales are down 5% compared to the same four-week period in 2021. Zansler attributed that year-over-year decline to several factors:
- A 6.6% increase in the average price of OJ
- Higher consumer prices at the grocery store in general
- Supply-side challenges
- A decline in distribution
- Reduced retail trade promotions
NFC OJ is currently available at 95% of retail stores tracked by Nielsen, down 0.7% from a year ago, Zansler reported.
Turning to the current season, Zansler said nearly 94% of all Florida oranges are projected to be utilized as processed, with Florida production expected to account for 80% of domestically produced OJ.
Source: Florida Department of Citrus
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