Few things are as refreshing in the morning as a tall glass of orange juice. And if you’re among those who do enjoy a little O.J. in the morning, it turns out you are among a dwindling population of orange juice drinkers. A Nielsen report conducted over the course of the last 12 months found that sales of refrigerated orange juice are down 4.1 percent and frozen O.J. sales fell 9.7 percent.
So what’s the deal? Why are people abandoning the only thing that alleviates temporary early morning sore throats? Well, for starters those bizarre-o juice cleanses that you, your mom, or your boss think are so fun, are actually putting a dent in those sale numbers. In fact, the Florida Department of Citrus reports, refrigerated O.J. lost almost three and a half feet of shelf space between 2012 and 2014.
Additionally, a recent health conscious trend to avoid sugar has made consumers reluctant about the juice they drink. Considering one serving of Minute Made 100 percent orange juice has 24 grams of sugar, it’s no wonder people are holding off. But an official with the Florida Department of Citrus told BuzzFeed that an important food labeling distinction between sugar and added sugar may soon draw consumers back in (shout out to Michelle Obama). Because food labels will be able to advertise “no sugar added” alongside their non-GMO labels, it seems likely the O.J. industry may see a jump.
One last reason for the decline — a tree disease called citrus greening which devastated crops in 2005. The Environmental Protection Agency recently approved the use of three antibiotics that growers can spray on trees that they hope will help manage the disease. None of these factors bode well for the price of orange juice either. As supply decreases, prices go up. Perhaps the best thing to do is save all the orange juice for screwdrivers and other orange-based alcohols. #Priorities.