Why Consumers Reach for 100% Orange Juice in Time of Crisis

juice aisle at the grocery store

A grocery store section featuring 100% orange juice during the fourth phase of Nielsen’s key consumer behavior thresholds, Quarantined Living Preparation.
Photo courtesy of the Florida Department of Citrus

COVID-19 all but shifted the globe off its axis. People all over the world were stunned by the quick spread of the global pandemic, and of the many things we searched for; information was in high demand.

By now, the Florida citrus industry has likely seen data-driven impacts on the sales of 100% orange juice in the time of COVID-19. But what you may not know is that the global marketing research firm Nielsen tracked key consumer behaviors during the beginnings of the outbreak.

In a Nielsen investigation, the data king discovered six key consumer behavior thresholds.

  1. Proactive health-minded buying. This is where consumer interest rises in items that are generally supportive of overall health and wellness.
  2. Reactive health management. Consumers prioritize their essential needs for virus containment, health, and public safety.
  3. Pantry preparation. The phase when stockpiling shelf-stable foods starts. Nielsen saw increased store visits, bigger basket sizes, and higher sales of items related to health and safety.
  4. Quarantined living preparation. This stage saw increased online shopping, declining store visits, many items out of stock and pressure on supply chains.
  5. Restricted living. As we all continued on the COVID-19 path, and likely experienced ourselves, “Restricted Living” came next. In-store shopping trips continued to decline, online fulfillment became limited, and consumers started pondering the economics of whether what they wanted/needed would become more expensive or unavailable. Retailers started rationing some items, like bread, toilet paper, and yes, orange juice, to one or two per customer.
  6. Living a new normal. This sixth phase is one we are looking ahead. As people return to daily routines, Nielsen predicts it will be with a renewed sense of cautiousness about health. There will be permanent shifts in supply chains and much more attention to hygiene practices and e-commerce.

As of this writing, and with only the first glimpses of what these markers may mean to 100% orange juice, Nielsen has the U.S. firmly planted in phase 5 — restricted living. We don’t know what the full impact of COVID-19 will be on our industry, but early indicators show us that, instinctively, 100% orange juice has favored status in Americans’ hearts when it comes to health. What more will we learn?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *