Orange Juice Might Be in Big Trouble in the US

Sales are way down and health concerns are up
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2014 3:26 PM CST

(Newser) – Has orange juice had its day in America? A story at Quartz backed up by sales figures over the years suggests as much. The big takeaway is that per-capita consumption is down 40% since the 1990s, with last year's sales the lowest in 15 years. The story lays out some of the reasons that a comeback doesn't look likely:

  • Higher prices: Diseases are devastating Florida's citrus crop, leading to smaller oranges and higher prices. As in, about twice as high as prices in 2000.

  • Waning breakfast: Fewer people are eating this meal, and the inextricably linked orange juice is suffering as a result.
  • Not so healthy? Orange juice has loads of sugar, and the industry—especially Tropicana parent Pepsi and Simply Orange parent Coca-Cola—has taken flak of late for inflating nutritional claims about its juices. (On that note, a recent Atlantic story equates the nutritional value of commercial orange juice to soda and recounts how it nonetheless acquired the reputation as a healthful drink through savvy marketing over the decades.)
But it's not all gloom and doom. Time notes that while powdered Vitamin C drinks are gaining popularity, "everybody knows you can’t make a decent mimosa with Emergen-C, so there may still be hope for the once mighty juice." (Read more orange juice stories.)

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