America and orange juice have broken up. I heard all about it from The Wire. How sad! Their relationship used to be so good. According to Alissa Hamilton 2009′s book Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice, in sweeter days, nearly three-quarters of American homes kept sweet OJ in their refrigerators. But things change, people change, sometimes people and juices grow apart. That’s what’s been happening to American consumers and orange juice. We have all the juice on their breakup.
For decades, the love between the American people and the sweet citrus juice rapidly grew, but has been significantly declining in recent years. What has been causing this rift between a country and juice? Like many lovers, the breakup is a result of fiscal and personal changes.
The growing price of orange juice is one of the reasons Americans are growing sour on it. After an insect-borne disease called “citrus greening” hit south Florida in 2005 and has possibly infected every orange grove in the state of Florida, the state that still produces over 80% of US OJ. The disease has been hindering juice production, affecting supply and causing a price increase. Chief economist at the Florida Department of Citrus claims that citrus greening is “the most devastating issue the industry currently faces and has ever faced,” noting that they lose more trees every year than are being planted.
Due to higher prices, more people are already making orange juice at home. If costs continue to rise on the bottled stuff, the product might become a luxury indulgence available only to those who can afford it–and still want it.
It’s not just higher prices that formed a wedge between America and Juice. These days, Americans are less keen on orange juice because we aren’t eating breakfast as much as we used to. Orange juice was long touted as part of a complete breakfast, but we don’t really care for a complete breakfast these days. Per information from data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, in 1971 about 89% of American grown-ups ate breakfast, but in 2002, the percentage dropped to 82%. It’s likely that the number of breakfast eating adults is even lower now.
Who cares about all of those boring logistics and stats anyway? That’s for the divorce attorneys. You want gossip? I’ll spill. Let’s talk about the pulpy stuff. America told me that she thought orange juice had gotten super arrogant–I mean you can’t just call yourself “all natural” and “fresh squeezed” and expect people to buy it. New York City all but banned the best way to drink orange juice (mixed with champagne, consumed in unlimited volumes during brunch). Orange juice saw that America was running around with green juices and the like, getting vitamin C from other sources. It pissed orange juice off big time, but America was all “you taste disgusting after I brush my teeth and my oral hygiene comes first.” The break-up was really a mess.
via The Wire//Image via Shutterstock