Shannon Shepp Column – December 4, 2020

By Shannon Shepp, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Citrus

As Americans continue to navigate life with a heightened concern for the health and wellbeing of their families, demand for 100% orange juice remains strong. The Nielsen sales report we shared last month showed 12% growth in year-over-year sales of 100% OJ during the four-week period ending Oct. 31.

In a recent consumer tracking survey, 29% of consumers stated they purchased more OJ in response to the pandemic. Of those consumers, 43% indicated it was because 100% OJ supports a healthy immune system.

Yet, there continues to be significant reductions in the number of 100% orange juice options at the grocery store – a growing concern as some consumers who want to purchase orange juice are unable to find it on the shelves. Of the 10% of consumers surveyed that said they purchased less OJ in response to the pandemic, one-fifth of them indicated it was because OJ was out of stock.

While consumers are searching for “The Original Wellness Drink,” it is important that we support grocery store category managers with the story of increased demand and demonstrate how having Florida Orange Juice available to their shoppers contributes to their bottom line.

The FDOC is working to meet this challenge. A new video currently in development aims to educate retail buyers on the unprecedented rise in demand for 100% orange juice and encourage them to take another look at the space allocation for all Florida Citrus products.

The video will also highlight the investment made by Florida Citrus growers in the current e-commerce campaign to drive sales of 100% orange juice as an example of the commitment our industry has to supporting retail sales and maintaining momentum.

Since July, the 2020-21 e-commerce campaign has delivered more than 136 million impressions and $3.7 million in attributed sales of 100% orange juice at a campaign ROAS of $5.27.

As we have learned through the FDOC webinar series, technology allows us to provide timely information to potential interested retailers for consideration at a time that is convenient to them. The video is a way to share these valuable insights from the global marketing and economic and market research teams with grocery store category managers in a cost and time effective manner. It also gives the managers direct access to more research by providing a designated web link specifically for them.

The completed video will be shared with the Florida Citrus industry through the FDOC webinar series and will be made available for use by all brands. Details on the event are in the works. We’ll be sure to send out links to the initial Zoom webinar and the recording of the webinar as we finalize the calendar.

Originally published in the Florida Citrus Mutual Triangle