Orange juice sales fall to lowest level on record

Florida Department of Citrus was concerned about

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MIAMI - Acai, pomegranate, flavored water and energy drinks seemed to be moving orange juice out of the way in the refrigerators of U.S. consumers this year.

This year's record low: Orange juice retail sales were down 8.3 percent this month, according to Nielsen data the Florida Department of Citrus released and that the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Florida's harvest was set to be smallest since 1985. The low supply was due to a bacterial "Citrus Greening" disease. The price for a gallon of orange juice was up 3.8 percent from last year. The current  four-week average was $6.42 a gallon.

Ross Colbert, a global beverage strategist for Rabobank International, told Bloomberg in June that consumers prefer lower -calorie options.

"Demand has dropped amid "the perception that it has too much sugar, and that it's way too expensive compared with other alternatives," Cobert said. "Consumers continue to migrate to other lower-calorie options, like bottled and flavored water."

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