Is orange juice the new eggs? Why this drink’s prices are reaching record highs
The price of orange juice has nearly doubled for a handful of reasons, including a disease that impacts citrus fruit
While consumers have seen eggsceptionally high prices for eggs, another breakfast staple’s price is increasing dramatically. The price of orange juice has nearly doubled for a handful of reasons, including a disease that impacts citrus fruit.
Florida, the state known for its citrus fruit, is expected to produce 61% less oranges this year compared to last year, per The Guardian. This year is expected to be the worst year for orange production in decades.
Hurricane Ian has contributed to this devastating drop in production, but so has a pandemic of citrus greening.
Citrus greening is a disease that impacts citrus trees. According to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, once this disease impacts a tree, there’s no cure for it. Infected trees begin to produce green fruit or misshapen fruit before they die. This disease has impacted Florida trees for over a decade now, and the state is allocating millions of dollars to finding a cure, per The Guardian.
The Wall Street Journal reported that frozen orange juice concentrate is now at a 78% higher price than it was last year. In some places, orange juice is approaching $10 a gallon, per Axios.
On Monday, Deseret News compared the prices of a gallon of orange juice across a handful of grocery stores in the Salt Lake City area. All prices are for generic store brand. Smith’s had a gallon of juice for $5.89. Sprouts didn’t have a gallon for sale, but its 59-ounce bottle (just shy of a half-gallon) was $3.29. Macey’s gallon was at $5.99, while Walmart’s clocked in at $5.58.
Are other breakfast food prices going up?
Common breakfast food prices have risen in the last year.
A butter shortage contributed to high butter prices last year. While butter prices this year are expected to level out, per Deseret News, they still have a year-to-year increase.
Time magazine reported that the price of white bread has increased $0.34 over the last year, a gallon of milk has increased from $3.74 to $4.21 on average and egg prices have also seen a significant increase — from $1.79 to $4.25 from 2021 to 2022.
Some shoppers spoke to Time and one said that she’s seen her family’s grocery bill go up by $200 per week and her family now struggles to afford basic necessities. The magazine detailed how the price of a lot of different fruits and vegetables has also gone up and that families are struggling to keep up with the cost.
Why are eggs so expensive?
Deseret News reported about the price of eggs previously. Egg prices rose 59.9% in December 2022, per Market Watch. While eggs were $1.79 for a dozen in December 2021, they rose to an average price of $4.25 in December 2022, and some states had prices as high as $8 for a dozen organic eggs.
Even though egg prices are expected to drop slightly in 2023, per the Deseret News, they will still remain at high prices. CNBC reported on Friday that wholesale egg prices have dropped around 50% since December, but customers won’t see a price decrease on the shelves for a while. Inflation and a bad bout of the avian flu have contributed to high egg prices, according to the Deseret News.