Refrigerated juices and juice drinks are perpetual favorites in produce departments and dairy aisles, but there are limits to what shoppers are willing to spend outside of the super-premium category. The category’s recent history shows that when prices go up, volume sales quickly go down, and when prices go down, consumption quickly returns to normal.
As a result, total dollar sales of juice have changed very little in recent years. In 2007, price spikes in the juice category caused unit sales to decline 8%, but dollar sales still rose 4.6% to reach $4.2 billion in the supermarket channel. During 2009, falling prices caused consumption to increase 3%, even as dollar sales fell 1.6%, netting the supermarket channel $4.2 billion. During the latest 52 weeks ending June 13, volume is up 3.8%, but dollar sales are still flat.
Orange juice, by far the largest subcategory, saw sales drop 4.5% due to falling prices and flat consumption, while a handful of smaller categories, such as smoothies, refrigerated vegetable juices and refrigerated lemonade, continued to show strong growth potential.