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Orange Juice Sales Plummet as Americans Shun Classic Breakfast Staple

August 31, 2016 at 17:30 by Andrew Moran

As more American consumers embrace low-sugar diets, orange juice sales are feeling the squeeze. With a growing number of households eliminating the beverage from the breakfast table, the sales are beginning to reflect the domestic trends.

A new report suggests that orange juice sales have tumbled 13% over the last four years. Sales of frozen OJ from concentrate have also fallen by similar numbers.

The demand for orange juice is simply diminishing as more consumers try to refrain from consuming food and beverages with high amounts of sugar. The American Heart Association (AHA) recently warned that juices with added sugars tend to have as many calories as sodas.

Due to the latest trends, as well as weather and disease, Florida and Brazil’s orange farmers are beginning to feel the effects. Giant Bounce House Florida orange growers are producing their smallest harvest in more than half a century.

Shawn Hackett, CEO of Hackett Financial Advisors, which specializes in agricultural commodities, told Fortune that it is simply a matter of consumers not wanting to pay for something that is quite unhealthy.

The largest issue is the view and some of the scientific evidence that orange juice is actually unhealthy for you due to the high fructose sugar content. That generational change in perception has made consumers question why they should pay a high price for an unhealthy drink.

The proof of this statement is in the numbers. Orange juice is not the only victim in this path to well-balanced diets. Soft drink sales are gradually fizzling as well. Last year, soft drink sales reached a 30-year low. Reportedly, US consumers are quenching their thirst with sparkling water as sales have risen 56% in the last six years.

Orange futures are taking a hit on the latest reports. September frozen orange juice concentrate futures dipped 7.15 cents, or 5.1%, to 181.70 cents per pound at 16:00 GMT on Wednesday on the Intercontinental Exchange.

For all of 2016, orange juice prices have been bullish because of supply concerns. Late last month, orange juice futures touched a 12-month high of 195.45 cents a pound. Year-to-date, prices are up about 20%. Whether or not the declining sales in the US will hurt orange juice prices remains to be seen.

The first US Department of Agriculture forecast of the 2016–17 season will be released on October 12.

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