Where did all the grapefruit juice go?
May 19, 2020 11:25 AM   Subscribe

I'm seeing nothing but empty at the groceries where the grapefruit juice used to be; and dear Google isn't doing much for me either. Am I missing something; and I am looking for the higher grade refrigerated stuff fwiw. thanks.
posted by Afghan Stan to Food & Drink (21 answers total)
Total guess, but I think it could be a combination of growing recognition that juices aren't particularly healthy and that grapefruit can interfere with drug absorption.
posted by condour75 at 11:45 AM on May 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

From a produce industry site: “Citrus has remained the most sought after global fruit during the crisis, as juice demand surges, and people seek to boost their immune system by increasing Vitamin C intake,” in contrast to erratic demand for other fruits and vegetables.

Total guess, but I think it could be a combination of growing recognition that juices aren't particularly healthy and that grapefruit can interfere with drug absorption.

This question sounds like the OP is saying "the section labeled 'grapefruit juice' is suddenly empty," not "over time I have noticed a decline in the size of the grapefruit juice section."
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:50 AM on May 19, 2020 [22 favorites]

Another total guess, what is it normally packaged in? We're seeing shortages of things like milk powder (NZ makes about 5% of world's milk)! because all the packaging comes from offshore and supply chain has crashed.
posted by unearthed at 11:52 AM on May 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

It's a great ingredient in cocktails... so with more people drinking at home (and possibly choosing mixed drinks over beer/wine, which can be difficult to obtain right now), that could be increasing the demand.
posted by DoubleLune at 12:23 PM on May 19, 2020 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: OP clarification here - standard cardboard type / wax lining 1/2 gallon packaging like the OJ (which is still everywhere) in the refrigeration section. None of the refrigerated slightly less than 1/2 gallon plastic bottles either.
No Grapefruit juice. Not one, or a few; None. Not in the commissaries, the King Soopers, or the Safeway. No graperfruit juice price tag present but no juice present either.
Shrugs, and we don't have any are what I got from the couple of clerks I queried.
posted by Afghan Stan at 12:48 PM on May 19, 2020

Packaging sounds like a possibility, also labor shortage, citrus greening disease, supermarkets or suppliers streamlining their orders and reducing number of products, maybe even expanded cocktail consumption. Other product categories have become spotty so it may be temporary.
posted by Botanizer at 12:52 PM on May 19, 2020 [2 favorites]

we have not noticed a shortage here. I know that because, like DoubleLune indicates, we are using it as mixer for cocktails. lots of people are drinking.
posted by supermedusa at 12:57 PM on May 19, 2020

I was just at a smaller, non-chain store and saw plenty of grapefruit juice and thought about geting some (yes, for cocktails) but ended up deciding against it. Maybe try smaller, non-chain stores?
posted by cooker girl at 1:15 PM on May 19, 2020

Here is Juice Market which updates the juice industry.
posted by calgirl at 1:25 PM on May 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

According to the USDA citrus crop report from last week, there's been a small decline in Florida grapefruit production over the past month, but it doesn't look significant enough to result in empty shelves.

I'd guess it's more likely a supplier problem your local market is having.
posted by theory at 1:37 PM on May 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

I've had trouble finding it too.
posted by leslies at 1:37 PM on May 19, 2020 [2 favorites]

Nthing that I'm seeing less of it, especially the store brand.
posted by Candleman at 1:43 PM on May 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure where you're at, but it's currently fully available at my Safeway in Oregon. Might be a supply-chain issue for you?

But if they've removed the tags where it used to be on your shelves, either they've moved it, or have stopped supplying it. Your best bet for an answer is to call the grocery store and speak with a manager. They're more likely to have an answer than a cashier. And you can let them know you're missing it, and that might get them to order it again.
posted by hydra77 at 1:53 PM on May 19, 2020

It could be a combination of short supply and high demand. I noticed a five week absence of a particular shape of pasta. There was other noodles and pasta shapes, but no rotini for example.
Turns out it was just a case of the store's supply chain shortages meeting with a bunch of people who got up earlier than me and really like rotini.
Maybe your local is just getting one case of juice instead of the usual three, and a couple people who really like Greyhounds have been snatching it up before you get there?
posted by bartleby at 2:52 PM on May 19, 2020

Talk to the grocery store manager, they may very ell know why their store is having a problem with this inventory.
posted by theora55 at 2:56 PM on May 19, 2020

Best answer: I am someone who works in a grocery store, part of a national chain but in a rural area. Ordering has been a challenge for the past couple of months. We're still figuring out what "normal" looks like in regards to shopping habits. Out of stocks are all over the stores. Sometimes it's the producers cutting out their less popular items to manufacture their more popular items. Sometimes it's warehouses not having the product. Sometimes it's caps placed on the amount of pieces we can order. We haven't been getting more trucks, so it's not a matter of ordering whatever is needed, but more like prioritizing what each department can order. I'm thinking your stores might be dealing with caps. Refrigerated juices can fall in with dairy orders, so things like milk, eggs, or cheese could be viewed as more necessary on the order. Talk to the manager or find out if there is a department supervisor for the area where the juice is. Be kind and patient about it, we're all super busy these days and it may take some time to be able to talk to someone. You may have to leave your email or phone number for someone. (i cannot stress being kind enough. Too many people have been terrible about everything and we're all getting burnt out while also living with a lot of fear. Every time someone asks for a manager, there is a collective bracing for the worst.) If it is available, they might be able to bring some in for you. You may have to be flexible with brand or size. A thank you note (especially a cute one from a kid), a small gift, or survey response that is positive and includes details like names may help keep it on the shelf for you.
posted by August Fury at 3:30 PM on May 19, 2020 [16 favorites]

I’m still finding the shelf-stable kind. Refrigerated, not so much. But then again, stores seem to have reduced the amount of space for refrigerated juice. As August Fury points out, probably making more room for other products.
posted by Neekee at 3:50 PM on May 19, 2020

Best answer: In an April 2020 letter to the secretary of agriculture, Casey Creamer of California Citrus Mutual, Dale Murden of Texas Citrus Mutual, and Mike Sparks of Florida Citrus Mutual wrote: "Grapefruit and grapefruit juice movement and sales have also come to a dramatic halt since mid-March as schools, restaurants and retail outlets have either closed or severely limited entrance to stores, and buyers are now cancelling orders."
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:00 PM on May 19, 2020 [3 favorites]

I've certainly noticed that the large chains are often out of things that independently owned stores have plenty of. The big co-op I typically shop at was out of TP for the first week. That's it. They have everything else. I went to Target recently and it still looked like the place had been ransacked. No meat, super basic selection of other staples. It was wild.

So yeah, there might not be a ton available or being or ordered, so try a smaller or specialty grocer if there is one in your area. If not, seconding to mention this to the store manager and see if they can get some.
posted by ananci at 3:45 AM on May 20, 2020

Shopping last night at a store that normally has at least a national and store brand of it, there was no stock and it didn't look like there was empty slots waiting to be filled.
posted by Candleman at 8:28 AM on May 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Local store had the low grade non-refrigerated Ocean Spray a few days ago "concentrate from Mexico, and S. Africa (???) ; got a refrigerated 1/2 gallon today of Florida's Natural.

Senior check out guy responded that it was just a supply / ship thing due to recent 'events'.
posted by Afghan Stan at 3:26 PM on May 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

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