Americans Sour on Orange Juice, Sinking Sales to 15-Year Low

Blame it on high prices and more exotic options like acai juice

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Orange juice and breakfast used to go together like eggs and bacon, but not so much these days. Americans purchased just 563.2 million gallons during the 2012-2013 season, the lowest amount in 15 years, when sales figures first became available, according to Nielsen data published by the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) on Monday.

A combination of marketshare going to more exotic juices like acai berry and energy drinks as well as high prices contributed to the drop in sales, the Wall Street Journal reports. The average price for a gallon of orange juice 10 years ago was $4.40 compared to the $6.20 price point this year. Citrus greening, a disease that cuts off fruits’ nutrients and prompts them to drop prematurely from a tree, has resulted in smaller production and soaring prices.

Retail sales for this past season, which ended on Sept. 28, were $3.49 billion — down only 5.2 percent from a decade ago — but volume sales have sunk by a third over the last 10 years.

[Wall Street Journal]