U.S. orange juice (OJ) retail sales have decreased by 13.2% this season to 27.17 million equivalent gallons. OJ’s average season-to-date price has climbed 12.6% to $8.61 per equivalent gallon. Marisa Zansler, Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) director of economic and market research, provided that information in her May 17 report to the Florida Citrus Commission (FCC).
By OJ category, not-from-concentrate (NFC) has increased by 9.3% to $10.18 per equivalent gallon. The price for reconstituted OJ has increased by 14.7% to $6.65 per equivalent gallon. Zansler reported that OJ inflation easily surpassed the overall April inflation rate of 4.9%. She said although there are signs of inflation easing, it’s crucial to acknowledge that prices will not revert to their levels from two years ago.
Providing a summary of a report on the Household Purchase Dynamics in the Beverage Category, Zansler noted that dollar sales in the overall beverage category contracted by 7.9% compared to 2021. A contributing factor in the sales estimate was a decline in market penetration, especially across traditional beverages. The beverage category, at about 22 billion equivalent gallons, has contracted by 7.8% when compared to the 2021 year.
The only beverage categories that increased from 2021 were alternative milks by 0.3% and bottled water by 1.8%. Fruit juice is down by 1.7%, fruit drink is down by 2.5%, and all other beverage categories are down by 1%.
Overall, 100% fruit juice represents about 2.5% of the beverage category, Zansler reported. The total share of OJ in the fruit juice segment is 51.4%, making it the largest share of the 100% fruit juice category. Grapefruit juice represented about 1.6% of sales in the fruit juice segment.
Zansler noted that the beverage category is increasingly crowded with new and trendy beverages added each year. Additionally, traditional beverage categories experience declining household penetration and reduced buying rates among consumers. Consumer engagement along the path to purchase continues to be crucial for OJ and grapefruit juice categories, she stated.