BARTOW – Retail orange juice sales in U.S. supermarkets fell 1.1 percent in the recently completed 2012-13 citrus season, marking the 11th sales decline in the last 12 seasons.
The Florida Department of Citrus says the downward trend has accelerated in recent months with OJ sales falling by 3.9 percent in the final period of 2012-13 for the four weeks ending Sept. 28.
The Lakeland Ledger (http://bit.ly/GYpZ5R) reports citrus greening has substantially reduced the supply of oranges grown and harvested in Florida. Juice processors buy 95 percent of the state’s orange crop.
Tom Spreen, a retired agricultural economist at the University of Florida, says while sales have declined for more than a decade, OJ’s retail performance in the past two seasons suggests a fundamental change in the market may be happening.