Although orange juice sales have surged in recent months, Citrus Industry reports that the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) director of economic and market research expects growers to have reduced profitability this season. Marisa Zansler told the Florida Citrus Commission on May 20 that demand for Florida citrus is expected to be tempered with higher production costs and suppressed grower prices for uncommitted early/mid fruit. This should lead to overall reduced grower profitability despite the increased consumer demand for fresh and processed citrus.
At the onset of rapidly shifting consumer behavior in response to COVID-19 concerns, Zansler’s economics team implemented additional questions as part of its OJ Consumer Tracker to measure changes in consumer behavior due to the pandemic. In March, nearly 40 percent of respondents indicated they purchased more 100 percent orange juice in response to COVID-19 concerns. Fifteen percent of those indicated they were stocking up on food and beverage essentials. Twenty-three percent referenced that orange juice has vitamin C and supports a healthy immune system.