Orange juice was a king of the times when Americans actually sat down for breakfast. But, of course, there’s no more time for such an idle way of eating. People want fast meals and they want portable consumption. As a result, orange juice is losing out.
A recent story in The Wall Street Journal notes that U.S. consumers bought 34.96 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks that ended on Aug. 2, according to Nielsen data published by the Florida Department of Citrus. That number marks a 9.2 percent decline from a similar period last year.
“A cultural shift in the U.S. is partly responsible for orange juice’s decline,” The Journal writes. “Americans have busier lives, and more women are working. This has resulted in less time to prepare and eat a traditional breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast and orange juice. Instead, consumers are looking for a meal that can be consumed on the run, which often takes the form of a granola bar or a fast-food sandwich.”
Because Starbucks doesn’t have quite enough locations across the U.S., the coffee giant will sell its products in trucks on the campuses of James Madison University in Virginia, Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina and Arizona State University in Phoenix, the last of which recently announced an educational partnership with Starbucks.
“Why trucks?” writes Bloomberg Businessweek. “They can travel around with students throughout the day, meeting students’ caffeine needs wherever they pop up, says Starbucks spokeswoman Maggie Jantzen.”
The article interprets the company’s comment as a sign of the future: in the morning, the trucks will park outside dorms, and during the day, the could follow students from class to class.
Starbucks will use the colleges not just as a means of expanding its business with young people, but also as a setting for experimentation. The article notes that the company is trying to find new store formats beyond the standard retail shop that will enable the brand to have greater access to a diverse range of consumers.
The No-Value Juice Game
While few beverage categories are hotter than cold-pressed juice, not every consumer has positive reviews of the stuff. The New York Times recently published a column that details one writer’s negative experience of buying a $12 juice.
“I gasped and requested a price check,” The Times writes. “He said, ‘I’m sorry, I should have warned you.’”
The story analyzes juice by cost per calorie and from a perspective of value — uncommon considerations for a category that typically depends on more upscale consumers to carry revenue figures. The article notes that, in 2012, Gallup reported that the average daily food expenditure of families in the U.S. is approximately $21.57. A bottle of Joni Juice wouldn’t leave the average family with much to spend. Of course, one could argue that cold-pressed juice isn’t marketed to the average American family, but that’s not the writer’s point.
“If your budget includes fresh produce, your wallet and calorie index are worse off if buying vegetables in juice form,” The Times writes.
California’s Drought and Bottled Water
Even with California’s ongoing drought, most of America’s bottled water is sourced in California, writes SF Weekly.
And sales numbers seem to indicate that bottled water demand remains as strong as ever, sunlight be damned. In 2012, companies produced approximately 10 billion gallons of water, the article notes. While California has a long history of water production, that won’t ease mid-drought tensions.
“Despite our state’s dire need to conserve what little water is left, the rest of the country is quenching their thirst with loads of bottled water from California,” SF Weekly writes.
Right on cue, the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) responded to bottled water/California drought stories like this one with a press release of its own. The release states: “several recent media reports have incorrectly claimed that the bottled water industry is a major contributor to California’s ongoing drought.”
The release cites a number of relevant statistics and statements, including:
The amount of water used for bottling water in the U.S. is fewer than 0.02 percent of the total groundwater withdrawn each year, according to the IBWA. While that figure may vary by location, the IBWA stands by its belief that the amount of water used for bottled water is a small portion of overall water use in California, or any state.
The IBWA writes: “The bottled water industry has a long and deeply-held tradition of effectively and responsibly protecting and managing our vital natural resources. Sustainable, protected, and naturally recharged water sources are the single most important aspect of our business.”
Most of the bottled water that comes from California water is sold in California, the IBWA writes. The group also notes that most bottled water companies in the U.S. use local water sources and distribute products to nearby towns and states.