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By Ned Hancock, Chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission

We are in unprecedented times. Consumer behavior is shifting rapidly and drastically. Online grocery shopping has skyrocketed. Stockpiling continues. And a desire for local products is growing.

This shift in behavior, along with a renewed awareness of the health and wellness of 100% orange juice, is evident in the most recent Nielsen retail data showing sales of orange juice increased again.

In the four-week period ending April 11, average year-over-year sales of total OJ increased 45.6 percent with 44 million equivalent gallons sold. Sales of NFC OJ increased by nearly 50 percent for the period. Additionally, total OJ sales for the season beginning October 2019 are up by 6 percent with 236 million equivalent gallons sold. Total grapefruit juice sales were up by 25 percent.

While we do not relish in the circumstances that brought us here, we recognize how significant this increase in demand is for our industry. The last time Americans purchased this much orange juice was during the four-week period ending January 17, 2015.

Nielsen suggests Americans have entered a phase of “Restricted Living” where online shopping is the norm and stocking pantry staples remains high. During this time, consumers place increased value on quality, trust, and transparency from brands and producers.

We must work together to ensure the Florida Citrus industry remains highly regarded by consumers for both our standards and commitment to safely providing the high-quality citrus and juice Americans have come to love and expect from us.

The Florida Department of Citrus continues to adjust its e-commerce programs during this time for maximum impact on sales of 100% orange juice.

Since January, the FDOC e-commerce campaign has delivered more than $2.8 million in attributed sales of 100% orange juice and reached 220 million impressions. The e-commerce program is delivering a Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) of $4.23.

With National OJ Day (May 4) just around the corner, the FDOC invites us to take a moment to thank the Americans who are helping make this all possible: frontline and essential workers. From doctors and nurses to grocery store workers, garbage collectors and your fellow farmers – these essential workers deserve recognition for taking risks and working hard to support our communities. FDOC social channels will raise an OJ toast to them on May 4 followed by a week of celebration.

Visit FDOC social media channels starting May 4 to join the celebration and nominate a frontline worker who deserves recognition. The FDOC will select several nominees to surprise with a Florida OJ-themed gift. Posts will also be shared via the Industry Resources website (www.fdocgrower.com/industryresources) for ease of sharing.

A person smiling for the camera holding orange juice on National Orange Juice Day on Instagram

This image is an example of what you might see on Florida Orange Juice social channels during the National OJ Day celebration week beginning May 4.

Originally published in the Florida Citrus Mutual Triangle