Supply Challenges and Demand Solutions

Daniel Cooper Economics, Florida Department of Citrus


By Marisa L. Zansler

The landscape of the Florida citrus industry has undergone significant transformations throughout its history. Over the past decade, it has faced substantial challenges in both supply and demand.

Florida orange juice (OJ) production dropped by 85%, from 615 million gallons in the 2013–14 season to an estimated 94 million gallons in 2023–24. Even as imports increased to maintain demand, it is estimated that global availability of OJ has fallen by 12% over the same timeframe. As Florida commits to replanting initiatives, understanding and fortifying consumer demand will be crucial amid elevated prices stemming from reduced production.


As 2023 concluded, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its latest consumer price index, signaling the easing of inflationary pressures. This was a welcome development after a turbulent economic period that began in late 2021. Despite grappling with the highest inflation rates in over four decades, consumers maintained their demand for goods and services during soaring prices in categories from housing to fuel to food. At the same time, consumers expressed dismay that the impact of price hikes lingered even as inflation showed signs of moderation.

Within the 100% OJ category, exploring the impact of inflation and supply challenges on consumer behavior became imperative against a backdrop of economic uncertainty and elevated prices. By November 2023, with overall inflation at 3.1%, prices in the OJ category surged by 9.7%, with average prices reaching $9.23 per equivalent gallon. During the 2022–23 season, consumers listed price as a leading factor considered when purchasing OJ, up from 20% the previous season. This correlates with inflation numbers to show price as a barrier for consumers.


Promotions play a pivotal role in maintaining consumer demand and alleviating producer uncertainty, especially as it relates to replanting efforts. Initiatives that stress Florida’s contribution to the 100% OJ category should be strategically designed to yield a positive return, underscoring the importance of assessing their effectiveness and benefits for growers and the state.

Analyzing data from consumer trackers and Nielsen, the Florida Agricultural Market Research Center at the University of Florida presented results from an annual study on the economic benefits to the state and the industry from Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) promotional activities. The study confirmed a positive and statistically significant impact, sustaining the demand for 100% OJ, equivalent to nearly 85 million gallons.

Notably, 23% of respondents demonstrated a heightened awareness of OJ promotions during the 2022–23 fiscal year. This awareness proved instrumental, correlating with a 4% increase in market penetration for OJ within households compared to those who were not aware of promotions.

Additionally, consumers who tuned into OJ promotions exhibited a remarkable 5% increase in their willingness to pay for 100% OJ, coinciding with a significant 9% improvement in their perception of the health and wellness advantages gained by drinking OJ. The findings shed light on the robust perception of health and wellness benefits in the eyes of consumers, with 37% citing these attributes as a major influence on their purchasing decision. The findings represent a slight uptick from the previous fiscal year, underlining the importance of health considerations in shaping consumer preferences and reinforcing the positive outcomes of strategic promotional investments.

Furthermore, University of Florida’s Economic Impact Analysis Program estimated that promotional activity for 100% OJ, averaged over the last three years, supported additional economic output impacts for growers and processors of up to $361 million.


Hurricanes aren’t the only storms the Florida OJ industry has weathered in recent years. Inflationary pressures and supply challenges contributed to increased prices and declining sales. Even with these strains, the constant share of active consumers and positive perceptions signal a reason to replant and invest in the industry’s future. Rebuilding requires a balance between supply chain management, pricing strategies and sustained marketing efforts to ensure that OJ remains a staple in American households. No matter the challenge, one thing remains clear — the enduring appeal of Florida citrus in the hearts and refrigerators of consumers across the nation.

Amidst rising OJ prices due to supply constraints, it’s reassuring to witness Florida OJ remain a daily staple, highlighting the industry’s resilience amid economic challenges. As we navigate this landscape, it remains evident that continued investment in consumer awareness holds the key to fortifying the willingness of consumers to pay higher prices. By fostering an understanding of the intrinsic value and benefits of Florida OJ, the industry can not only weather the current challenges, but also ensure sustained demand and vitality for the future.

Marisa L. Zansler is the director of the Economic and Market Research Department at the FDOC in Bartow.

Share this Post

Sponsored Content