After years of declining sales, orange juice has been flying off the shelves lately due to an unlikely ally—the flu.
The Wall Street Journal reports that for the first time in five years, orange juice has seen an uptick in sales, up 0.9% in a four-week period that ended Jan. 20. While consumers have been avoiding orange juice after learning about the high sugar content of the one-time breakfast staple, this year’s particularly virulent strain of the flu seems to have people returning to their childhood cold remedies, seemingly with the idea that if medicine won’t work, nostalgia might help. Conspiracy theorists take note: This isn’t the first time that orange juice sales have benefitted from a flu outbreak. Back in 2009, an H1N1 (aka swine flu) outbreak lead to an 8% rise in orange juice sales.
The National Institute of Health would like to point out that the Vitamin C in orange juice has no proven effect on the flu and the best cure is prevention–so wash your hands a lot and get a flu shot. Also, if you still think boxed orange juice is a wholesome and healthy drink, read this article about the flavor packs added to the packaged stuff and the deaeration process that lets producers store orange juice in tanks for up to a year before you ever drink it. Meanwhile, someone call Louis Winthorpe and Billy Ray Valentine.