(NEW YORK) — For generations orange juice has been the staple of a nutritious breakfast, but recently, it has been feeling the squeeze.
In June, Americans bought less orange juice than they ever have since the Florida Department of Citrus started keeping track in 2002.
Orange juice consumption in the United States is down 38% over the last decade. It’s also facing competition from supermarket aisles of exotic juices.
At the same time, orange juice is nearly $6.50 a gallon, a record high this month, and up nearly 4% for the year.
Farmers placed the blame largely on a devastating bacteria that has been killing Florida’s citrus crops and said with less fruit, they could not make as much fruit juice.
And while advertisements from the 1970s said natural orange juice was rich in vitamin C, new studies have shown that it’s also rich in calories and sugar — nearly the same amount as in cola drinks.
The Florida Department of Citrus is trying to win back consumers with a new ad campaign launched in June. It’s also getting help from Marvel Comics to redesign a spokes-character, Captain Citrus.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Sam Turner, Deseret News