The current flu season has been bad news for basically everybody, but it appears to have been a stroke of good luck for the country’s orange juice purveyors, who have seen sales spike for the first time in years, thanks in large part to the flu.
According to The Washington Post, orange juice sales have been on the decline for years. Orange juice used to be considered a particularly healthful beverage, and many Americans grew up seeing it as part of “a balanced breakfast.” But in recent years customers have been turning away from juice in general because of its relatively high amount of sugar and calories. The American Academy of Pediatrics even advised against giving juice to children and wrote that juice “has no essential role in healthy balanced diets of children.”
According to Business Insider, the orange juice market in the U.S. is down 50 percent since 2001. And until now, orange juice sales had not seen an increase since 2013. This year, however, retailers saw orange juice sales jump 0.9 percent in the four weeks that ended on January 20. That’s a noticeable spike, considering it’s the first time the sales data has shown a year-over-year increase in nearly five years, and it happens to coincide with a particularly brutal flu season.
People may be chugging orange juice in an attempt to fight off the flu, but it’s questionable if orange juice will have any effect at all. Getting the flu shot is a much more reliable method of reducing the likelihood and severity of getting the flu.