It should come as no surprise that America loves orange juice and Florida supplies more than half of the orange juice Americans drink each year. But even though OJ and particularly 100% OJ is a staple of a healthy start to your day, consumption numbers are declining. Even though Americans drink close to a billion gallons of orange juice every year and more people purchase orange juice than any other 100 percent fruit juice on the market there is still reason for concern and to evaluate this decline. This article from Florida Citrus breaks down some of the reason’s this decline may be occurring.
Many consumers still enjoy 100% orange juice as it continues to be the top selling 100% fruit juice in the U.S. – although orange juice consumption is down overall along with orange juice production.
There are several factors that can be attributed to the decline of OJ consumption and production, including:
- A growing number of beverage choices. An increasing number of beverage options from flavored waters to smoothies to cold brew coffees are shrinking shelf-space for long-time, staple beverages and brands.
- Confusion around sugar. Consumers don’t have a clear understanding of the source of sugar in 100% orange juice. There are no added sugars, no added fructose, and no added sweeteners in 100% orange juice. The sweetness of orange juice simply comes from natural sugars that develop in the orange as it grows on the tree.
- Reduced OJ production. Citrus greening bacteria affects the health of the tree resulting in reduced fruit size and quality over time, and severe weather are contributing factors to a lower citrus crop of 70 million boxes* – down from 81.6 million in the previous harvest season. However, this forecast is higher than initial industry estimates and represents improving industry stability.
- Increasing price of OJ. As demand for 100% orange juice outpaces supply and with growers paying more to care for their trees due to citrus greening, the price of 100% orange juice has increased.