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Why-ology News: Trend Go beyond the what to the why of consumer behavior. January 2018

A Morning without Sunshine: No Orange Juice

An adage from an unknown source advises, "A morning without orange juice is like a day without sunshine." More households than previously are facing cloudy days. The 2017 Florida orange crop "will likely be the smallest since the 1940s" reported the Wall Street Journal in October 2017. Since the late 1970s, spreading disease and international competition have reduced the number of orange varieties in Florida from 53 to 7. In addition to reporting fewer varieties, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that the largest US orange-producing states—Florida, California, and Texas—suffered from severe hurricanes and wildfires in 2017. Food Business News reports the Florida orange crop will be down 21% between 2001 and 2017.

Orange juice generated more than $3 million in retail-food-outlet sales in 2001. Orange juice remains the juice-consumption leader in 2017 at 2.7 gallons per person, according to the USDA. However, overall, consumption is lower today than in previous years. Crop availability affects price fluctuations that affect sales. Other factors have also led to orange-juice-sales declines: Fewer people are eating breakfast, and more people are limiting their sugar intake.

Figure: Trend: Households Buying Orange Juice (Not Frozen) in the Past 6 Months

The percent of US households buying orange juice has decreased from 59% in 2001 to 51% in 2017, according to VALS™/GfK MRI spring studies. In 2001, Innovators (65%), Thinkers (61%), and Experiencers (60%) households bought the most orange juice. In comparison, in 2017, Experiencers (56%) and Achievers (55%) households—households most likely to have young children—are the most frequent orange-juice buyers. Many Innovators and Thinkers households are mindful of sugar consumption; in addition, Thinkers are more likely than all adults except Survivors to suffer from diabetes. Strivers households show the lowest decline between 2001 and 2017; they are more likely than other groups to perceive orange juice as a healthful alternative to soda.

Enjoy a sunny Tropicana TV Commercial:

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