Juice’s long-standing reputation as a healthy drink has come across some problems as American consumers look to reduce their sugar intake.

According to data from Chicago-based market research firm IRI, over the 52-week period ending March 24, 2019, retail sales of refrigerated juices/drinks fell 1.2% in dollar sales to $6,400.2 million and decreased 0.4% in unit sales to 2,188.4 million.

However, some subcategories experienced impressive growth.


Orange juice, smoothies decline

The troubles continued for refrigerated orange juice — the largest category in the refrigerated sector. Dollars sales tumbled 3.2% (to $2,853.3 million), while unit sales fell 2.6% (to 848.4 million). Among the top 10 brands, the biggest loser was Minute Maid (The Coca-Cola Co.), which decreased 44.1% in dollar sales and fell 43.2% in unit sales. Orchard Pure (Dean’s Food Co.) also had disappointing news, posting a 12.1% loss in dollar sales and an 11.8% decline in unit sales.

It was a different story for Natalie’s (Natalie’s Orchard Island Juice Co.), which rose 7.8% in dollar sales and 6.4% in unit sales. Donald Duck (Citrus World Inc.) also experienced positive growth — 6.2% in dollar sales and 25.0% in unit sales.

The refrigerated juice and drink smoothies subset also struggled — dropping 4.4% in dollar sales to $803.6 million and falling 5.6% in unit sales to 227.4 million. Suja Essentials (Suja Life LLC) had the biggest decline in the top 10 brands: It lost 30.6% in dollar sales and 28.3% in unit sales. Retail sales of Bolthouse Farms C Boost (Bolthouse Farms) tumbled, too — 16.4% in both dollar and unit sales.

It was good news for a couple of the top 10 smoothie brands, however. Danimals (Danone North America) gained 8.3% in dollar sales and 3.7% in unit sales. Evolution Fresh (Evolution Fresh Inc.) also saw positive results, rising 5.5% in dollar sales and climbing 14.6% in unit sales.


Fruit drinks sprout

Meanwhile, the refrigerated fruit drink subset had reason to celebrate. It jumped 4.5% in dollar sales to $1,099.7 million, and grew 3.9% in unit sales to 506.0 million.

The biggest winner among the top 10 brands was Minute Maid Light (The Coca-Cola Co.), which saw huge gains in dollar sales and unit sales (134.2% and 144.8%, respectively). Tropicana (PepsiCo Inc.) was another success, increasing 30.0% in dollar sales and rising 24.5% in unit sales. KeVita (KeVita Inc.) grew 8.9% in both dollar and unit sales.

But a couple of PepsiCo’s other juice brands struggled. Tropicana Twister lost 9.0% in dollar sales and 8.9% in unit sales, and Tropicana Trop50 declined 13.2% in dollar sales and fell 13.3% in unit sales.


Vegetable juice mixed

It was a mixed bag for the refrigerated vegetable juice/cocktail category, which expanded 2.8% in dollar sales to $132.1 million, but fell 0.1% in unit sales to 32.6 million.

Some of the top 10 brands had impressive growth. Tropicana Essentials (PepsiCo) increased 703.2% in dollar sales and climbed 777.8% in unit sales. Private label also had striking gains: 258.8% in dollars sales and 168.8% in unit sales.

1915 Organic (Bolthouse Farms) was among the losers. The brand lost 35.5% in dollar sales and declined 33.4% in unit sales.