Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How Marketing Changed Orange Juice

I suppose there is probably an indepth book somewhere that digs into this subject.  But, I realized something when I was in Shoprite earlier today.  Marketing changed how we shop for orange juice and what we think is good and bad juice.

When I was growing up, juice was a treat in our house.  We primarily drank milk and water--from the tap.  Periodically, my mom purchased juice.  She bought the frozen cans of concentrate and reconstituted them in a Tupperware pitcher.

You might have thought that those Tupperware pitchers and frozen cans of concentrate have become extinct.   Thankfully, they haven't.

A while back I read this article in the Baltimore Sun about Orange Juice:  http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2010-10-17/business/bs-bz-juice-labels-consuming-interest20101017_1_orange-juice-ethyl-butyrate-flavor  It was eye opening for my husband and me.

When we married, my husband was adamant that we needed to purchase not from concentrate orange juice.  I did not feel as strongly, though I was concerned about the cost.  I worked it into our food budget and watched for it to go on sale.  He felt that it tasted differently and I had to admit, I found that it did.

About three years ago, I started seeing a sharp increase in the price of juice and so we cut back as a family on our intake of apple juice, but I still purchased orange juice weekly.

After we read the article, I wasn't sure what to think.  The article says basically that "Not from concentrate" juice really isn't much different than "from concentrate".  We have been sold on the idea of "not from concentrate" by the orange juice marketers.

A month ago, I went back to the freezer aisle at Aldis and purchased some frozen orange juice concentrate.  It cost $1.09 for a can.  Reconstituted it equals 48 oz.  The equivalent price for a 64 oz. portion would be $1.36.  That is far less than even the from concentrate half gallons at the store.  My husband accidentally tasted it one morning before heading off to a brunch.  He was required to take some orange juice to the brunch so he went to the store and bought a half gallon of "not from concentrate" for about $3.50.  He came home and told me that it didn't taste any better.

This morning he looked at me with the orange juice I'd made in his hand and asked if I was planning on continuing to purchase it.  I responded tentatively with a "yes".  He said "Good.  It takes up less space and tastes just as good."  Yay!

So, the moral of the story is you might think about giving frozen juice another chance...

But, if you do, look for the generics at Target or Aldis or Walmart.  Today I was at Shoprite and their generic frozen orange juice concentrate was $2.09!  Hmmm... what do you think they want to sell?  And what do you think their shoppers are sold on?  I had to stop by Target on my way home and found that their Orange Juice cans (the same size) were $1.14 and apple juice was $.92.

We've really been sold on the way we drink orange juice.  I think my family's going to go back to the what we bought when I was a kid.

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