Orange juice is a great way to start your day.
It provides you with plenty of Vitamin C which can improve your heart health and immune system.
Buying orange juice, however, might cause a heart attack in itself.
The price of orange juice has become quite expensive, and you may wonder what’s causing the surge.
Why Is Orange Juice So Expensive? (10 Reasons)
The average price of orange juice is between $2 and $5.
A few factors like diseases, environmental problems, and high demand for Vitamin C are all linked to increasing its price.
Let’s look at these factors in more detail.
1. Citrus Greening Disease
One of the biggest reasons behind the increase in orange juice prices is citrus greening disease.
This is a serious disease that’s plagued Florida’s orange crops for years.
The disease comes from an insect called the Asian citrus psyllid.
The bug becomes infected with the disease, then it spreads the disease to the trees that it comes into contact with.
As its name might suggest, citrus greening disease turns citrus fruit green.
It essentially makes citrus extremely bitter to the point where it isn’t fit for human consumption.
It’s not sellable as either orange juice or as fruit.
Besides making the fruit bitter and misshapen, it actually ends up killing the tree over the course of a few years.
Perhaps the worst aspect of this disease is that there isn’t a cure.
Once a farmer’s trees get infected, that’s it.
Another problem is the fact that it easily spreads from one tree to the next.
A farmer can lose a good portion of their orchard in hardly any time at all.
This disease is something that farmers in Florida are battling.
The problem is that Florida is the main supplier of orange juice.
Since it’s producing far fewer oranges for orange juice, there’s going to be a shortage of cartons of orange juice available on the market.
With low supply and high demand for orange juice, the price rises.
Orange juice is expensive because of the shortage caused by citrus greening disease.
2. High Demand Due To Illness
Another reason orange juice is expensive is that there’s been an increased demand for it due to COVID-19 and flu season.
One of the best ways to stay healthy and decrease the chances of getting ill is to consume a healthy amount of Vitamin C.
Everyone knows that orange juice has a ton of Vitamin C in it.
With COVID-19 threatening people’s health, if not their life, a lot of people started drinking more orange juice.
It’s a way to reinforce your immune system and keep it healthy and strong.
When your immune system is strong, it’s better able to do its job of fighting off germs.
As a result, you’re less likely to get certain diseases.
Although vaccines have also made it more difficult to get Covid, there’s another annual threat that’s increasing orange juice sales.
Flu season tends to occur in the fall and winter seasons.
It’s a time of year when people spend a lot of time together indoors.
It’s easier for germs to spread.
Vitamin C, along with a flu shot, can help reduce your chances of getting infected with the flu and becoming ill.
Since orange juice has one of the best ways to get a lot of Vitamin C into your system, people are buying a lot of it.
This means there’s an increased demand for orange juice.
It started with a sudden increase during the pandemic.
With that still waging, there’s even more interest in orange juice because of the flu season.
Since more people are trying to buy orange juice when the supply is low, it drives up the price.
Orange juice is expensive because a lot of people are trying to prevent becoming ill by drinking it.
3. Winter Freeze
Another factor that has led to a shortage of oranges is a winter freeze that damaged Texas oranges.
Although Texas isn’t as big a producer of oranges as California or Florida, it does contribute to the market.
As such, if something happens in Texas, the market is going to feel it.
The problem that happened in Texas was freezing temperatures.
For the past few winters, Texas has experienced an unusual winter freeze.
The state normally keeps moderate to warm temperatures in the winter.
Deep freezes, and even snow, have damaged Texan crops because the farmers aren’t prepared for that sort of weather.
They’re used to certain harvest seasons.
Their usual harvest got cut early because of the deep freeze.
Fruits and vegetables died or became weakened by the cold temperatures.
Since farmers weren’t able to produce as much of a yield, there was a shortage of oranges from Texas, too.
Like California, Texas primarily sells oranges by itself rather than sending them to orange juice companies.
With Florida being the primary producer of oranges for orange juice, it means some orange juice companies may need to look to Texas and California to start making some deals.
Since there’s going to be demand for their oranges already, you can likely expect that orange juice companies are going to be paying higher prices for those oranges.
With Texas having even fewer oranges to sell than usual, the price of their oranges is going to increase.
Orange juice is expensive because Texas experienced a deep freeze which reduced its orange supplies, too.
4. Imbalanced Market Producers In The United States
Orange juice wouldn’t be quite so expensive if they were able to get oranges from different growers.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.
Florida practically has a monopoly on growing oranges for orange juice.
The other main growing states, California and Texas, only grow oranges to sell as oranges.
When you go to the store, for example, the oranges that you can buy in the produce section are likely from either California or Texas.
A few might also be from Florida, but those are small in number.
The majority of Florida oranges go to orange juice companies.
The problem with this is if something happens to Florida’s oranges, like what is currently happening, it means the supply gets cut off.
Orange juice companies suddenly find themselves scrambling to get oranges to make their products.
On the one hand, they’re unable to make as much orange juice because they don’t have the oranges to do so.
That drives up the price of orange juice because they have a shortage.
On the other hand, they need to buy oranges from other growers who typically sell oranges as they are.
Those growers might end up raising their prices because the demand is high for their oranges.
As such, the orange juice company has to pay higher prices than usual to get oranges.
That also makes their orange juice expensive because they need to offset those costs.
Orange juice is expensive because producers rely on Florida oranges for their production, but that only makes them vulnerable in the market.
5. Healthier Lifestyles
The COVID-19 pandemic had one silver lining.
It made a lot of people want to lead healthier lifestyles.
Hearing about loved ones, neighbors, and co-workers dying from the virus, especially when they seemed so healthy, left a mark on the psyche of society.
To help preserve their own lives, a lot of people started taking an interest in healthier habits.
Some people started going to the gym more often.
Others wash and sanitize their hands more often.
Some have also started eating healthier.
A part of the diet changes is drinking more orange juice.
Whether it’s to stave off the flu or COVID or just to keep healthier, people want to take in more Vitamin C.
Drinking orange juice is largely accepted as drinking something healthy.
Since people are trying to be healthier to prolong their lives, orange juice sales are increasing.
However, because a trend toward healthier living is increasing the demand for orange juice, it’s also increasing its price.
High demand and low supply always result in higher prices.
Orange juice is expensive because people are trying to live healthier lives which impacts the sales of orange juice.
6. Healthy Branding
Orange juice has the perception of being a healthy drink.
There certainly are a lot of healthy attributes in orange juice.
One of its most important features is its Vitamin C count.
By drinking a glass of orange juice, you can get your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C at 67%.
Vitamin C plays important roles in keeping your gums healthy, helping your wounds to heal, and even has powerful antioxidant properties.
Orange juice can also help prevent the development of kidney stones.
It does so by making your urine more acidic.
When your urine isn’t that acidic, it can lead to mineral build-up that results in kidney stones.
Since kidney stones can be quite painful, drinking orange juice can be a great way to prevent their development.
There are also studies on orange juice and its ability to lower cholesterol in your body.
When your blood cholesterol is lower, your heart is healthier.
All these factors clearly indicate that orange juice is a pretty healthy drink.
Unfortunately, that’s also one of the reasons it’s expensive.
Whenever something is healthy, it tends to have a higher price attached to it.
Whether it’s vitamins, a special type of drink, a fitness program, whatever it is, if it’s designed and proven to be healthier for you, it’s going to cost more.
Part of the reason it costs more is that society tends to think that healthier products are more expensive.
There’s sometimes a correlation between health and high-quality products.
Since a product is high-quality, it’s more expensive.
If a healthy product, like orange juice, is high-quality, then it’s also going to be expensive.
The fact that orange juice is healthy and gets marketed and branded as being healthy allows the manufacturer to put a more expensive price tag on it.
Orange juice is expensive because it’s healthy.
7. Fewer Farms Planting Oranges
Another reason orange juice is expensive is that there are fewer farmers in Florida planting oranges.
A large part of that reason is because of the problem with citrus greening disease.
Because the problem is so large, some farmers simply don’t see investing in oranges as profitable.
There’s some evidence that even suggests that planting certain types of groves with the state of the market and industry as it is simply isn’t profitable.
No one wants to start a business that they can’t make money on.
As such, fewer farmers are planting oranges.
This becomes a problem because as certain groves are dying off, there’s no one there to replace them with new groves.
The supply is only decreasing.
Some farmers are turning to other crops that are safer to grow or yield higher profits.
This ends up impacting the price of orange juice because it means the supply of oranges in Florida is going to continue to wane.
Farmers just aren’t interested in growing oranges until someone finds a cure for citrus greening disease.
Orange juice is expensive because there are fewer farmers planting oranges in Florida.
8. Farmers Sell Landing To Developers
While some farmers aren’t interested in planting oranges because of citrus greening disease, others are getting approached by urban developers.
Florida is seeing a boom in development.
The problem is that Florida is a pretty swampy state.
While there are areas that have great land on which to build, those areas are small in number.
As such, some urban developers have approached farmers to sell their land to them.
Farmers who are losing money on their oranges are taking the deal and selling their land.
While this might be ideal for those looking to move to Florida, it isn’t ideal for those who love orange juice.
With fewer farms in the state, there’s less land available for growing oranges.
That reduces the supply even further.
If more farmers become frustrated with the problems of growing oranges, then they might choose to sell their farms, too.
With fewer and fewer farms producing oranges for orange juice manufacturers, the amount of available orange juice on the market is going to dwindle.
With far less supply than demand, the price is going to be expensive.
Orange juice is expensive because there are fewer farms growing oranges due to urban development.
9. Hurricane Damage To Groves
Another reason orange juice is expensive is because of the damage Hurricane Ian did to orange groves.
Hurricane Ian caused a lot of damage to orange groves throughout the state of Florida.
It tore right through the center of the state and flooded many areas.
Flooding is one of the problems that orange growers had to contend with following Hurricane Ian.
Some groves were in standing water.
Farmers were unable to access their groves because of the water.
Others who were trying to drain their groves by pumping water out of the area had nowhere to pump the water.
Some farmers also found that the hurricane had knocked down their trees altogether.
This sort of damage means it’s likely those farmers are going to be harvesting even fewer oranges than normal.
Hurricanes are common in Florida, so farmers there are always struggling to keep their groves alive and well in the aftermath of a hurricane.
Orange juice is expensive because of hurricane damage done to orange groves in Florida.
10. Increased Fertilizer Costs
A final reason orange juice is expensive is because of high fertilizer costs.
Just like other crops, oranges need fertilizer to grow the best that they can grow.
The problem with fertilizer is that the price has increased considerably over the past few years.
Part of the reason behind it is the lack of supply of ammonia and nitrate from certain countries.
Without those materials, fertilizer producers can’t make ammonia-based fertilizer.
With lower supplies, farmers are having to pay top dollar to get the little fertilizer that’s on the market.
Since it increases their costs, farmers end up selling their oranges at higher prices.
Orange juice companies then have to buy them at high prices, then sell them at higher prices to offset their costs.
Orange juice is expensive because of the high cost of fertilizer.
Orange juice is a healthy beverage packed full of Vitamin C that provides several health benefits.
Unfortunately, a myriad of different problems occurring in Florida and Texas have increased the price of orange juice over the years.NEXT: Why Is Glyphosate So Expensive? (10 Reasons)