Record Retail Price Sends U.S. OJ Sales Plummeting
Lakeland Ledger – July 20, 2011
BARTOW | In the Florida Department of Citrus’ continuing mission to boost domestic orange juice sales, it will change the way it reaches out to the nation’s supermarket chains.
And not a moment too soon, according to another grim report on U.S. orange juice sales from Bob Norberg, an economist and deputy executive director.
OJ sales at U.S. supermarkets declined 7.2 percent for the month ending June 11 compared with the same period a year ago, Norberg told the Florida Citrus Commission, the department’s governing body, on Wednesday. That marked the 18th consecutive month of declining OJ gallon sales.
On the bright side, sales revenue inched up 0.3 percent for the same month, the fifth consecutive month for such an increase, he said. The two are possible only because of record high prices for orange juice as well as grapefruit juice.
“One of the problems with the category is pricing is the highest we’ve ever seen,” Norberg said. “People are still reacting to higher prices.”
The average price for the month rose 8.2 percent from a year earlier to $6.07 per OJ gallon, breaking the previous record of $6.03 in July 2007, Norberg’s report shows.
U.S. grapefruit juice sales for the same month fell 9.3 percent from a year earlier as the retail price rose to $6.67 per gallon, the second consecutive month for a new record price, the report shows.
The commission hopes to reverse that trend through MARS Adverting Inc., a Detroit-area company approved specializing in “shopper marketing,” using Internet, in-store and other marketing techniques aimed directly at the consumer. It approved a three-year contract with the company.