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Orange Juice's 2014 New Year's Resolution: Get Its Healthy Image Back

Orange Juice's 2014 New Year's Resolution: Get Its Healthy Image Back
Photograph by Getty Images

Orange juice has fallen on hard times. In the past decade, global consumption of OJ has dropped 12 percent, led by a 29 percent fall in the U.S. and a 34 percent decline in Germany, markets No. 1 and 2, respectively. Of the top five markets, only the French drank more orange juice, and that increase was small. Put another way, Americans have gone from drinking 5.5 gallons per person in 2000 to a mere 3 gallons in 2012, according to Bloomberg News.

Citrus marketers in Florida, the world’s second-largest orange producer after Brazil, have long touted a glass of orange juice as an important “part of this complete breakfast” and a nutritious and refreshing part of a healthy diet. Lately that health halo has been waning. A typical 8-ounce serving of orange juice has 110 calories and 26 grams of carbohydrates—more than a pair of Oreos—and the millions of people watching their weight or their blood sugar are increasingly opting for water or zero-calorie drinks. Parents are also increasingly skeptical: The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that juice has no health benefits over whole fruit, and some day care centers and preschools tout no-juice lists along with zero-peanut policies.