Orange juice and breakfast used to go together like jam on toast, but these days most Americans are lucky if they find time to wolf down a Waffle Taco before starting their day. But while we still chow down on cereal and eggs around the clock, the demise of the sit down breakfast has taken an especially harsh toll on orange juice sales, which have fallen 40% (measured in per capita consumption) since the late 1990s.
The problem isn’t that we’ve fallen out of love with juice altogether. In fact, juicing of everything from wheatgrass to watermelon is on the rise. Instead it seems that we’ve lost our infatuation with the brightly-colored citrus in particular. Quartz blames the falling out on three key factors: higher prices due to diseased citrus crops, which have curtailed supplies; a growing movement to consume less sugar (which oranges have tons of); and the fact that only 82% of Americans say they eat breakfast — down from 89% in 1971.
But wait — what about all of that fabulous vitamin C that you get from OJ? Turns out, orange juice isn’t really necessary for that either. Dark leafy greens like kale are packed with it. So are bell peppers, strawberries and papaya. What’s more, sales of powdered Vitamin C drinks are soaring.
Of course, everybody knows you can’t make a decent mimosa with Emergen-C, so there may still be hope for the once mighty juice. Let’s drink to that.
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