It’s the beginning of February and the flu has hit. Hard. Researchers are calling this year one of the worst flu seasons in nearly a decade. As a result, orange juice retailers are seeing their first sales spike in almost five years.
Really, it comes as no surprise. We’ve long held steadfast to the belief that orange juice, packed with vitamin C, is an easy kitchen staple turned immunity booster. How many times as a kid was I urged to down a glass of Tropicana at the first sign of a sniffle? In recent years, however, orange juice hasn’t been so popular.
For more than a decade, America’s orange juice sales have been in decline. Increased awareness surrounding sugary drinks has seen consumers turning away from long-standing favorites, like orange juice, and reaching instead for sugar-free alternatives, like La Croix, or drinks with a more explicit health bent, like kombucha. Recent years have seen the orange juice market deteriorate to half of what it once was in 2001.
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However, a report in the Wall Street Journal shows that orange juice sales experienced an increase of almost one percent between the beginning of the year and January 20. This is the largest peak in sales since 2013, and it seems that the flu—and a desire to avoid contracting it—might be responsible. The high levels of vitamin C in orange juice can help prevent sickness, but should it be the only recourse? Hmm, something tells me no.
Are you an OJ advocate? Let us know where you stand in the comments below.
Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.