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The value of orange juice is soaring amid the coronavirus pandemic

Florida Oranges on a branch.jpg
Posted at 11:06 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 23:07:51-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Orange juice is hot.

The value of frozen concentrate orange juice has increased 25 percent just in the past month.

"People understand that orange juice is a great source of vitamin C and clearly vitamin C boosts your immune system," said Andrew Meadows, director of communications at Florida Citrus Mutual, a growers' trade group. "We're now in a time where people want to have a strong immune system. I think that's what's happening."

There's no evidence that vitamin C is effective against the coronavirus. But industry officials say that people looking to increase their vitamin C intake have been boosting OJ sales.

Sales jumped nearly 10 percent in the four weeks that ended March 14 compared with a year earlier, according to Nielsen data provided by the Florida Department of Citrus.

Frozen OJ sales increased 10 percent. That's a big turnaround from the previous report for February, which showed overall OJ sales down 2 percent and frozen juice down 1.3 percent.

The good news for growers comes at a challenging time for the citrus industry. Florida growers have been battling citrus greening, canker and other plant diseases for years.