HomeBusinessOrange juice disaster ’24 – Japan’s OJ provides drying up

Orange juice disaster ’24 – Japan’s OJ provides drying up

Despite Japan’s well-deserved fame a wonderland of scrumptious pleasures for the palate, the nation isn’t proof against meals/beverage crises. We’re solely two years out from the potato scarcity of 2022, when some quick meals chains in Japan needed to limit French fry gross sales or change their spuds with one thing else fully, and who can overlook the darkish, dry days of Butter Crisis ’14 or Pizza Potato Crisis ’17?

Now Japan appears to be going through one other scarcity of one thing ordinarily out there nearly anyplace: orange juice.

In early April, Megmilk Snow Brand, the Japanese distributor for Dole juices, suspended gross sales of its Dole Orange 100% juice in 450-mililiter and one-liter cartons, leaving the less-then-half-pint 200-militer pack as the one remaining possibility. Then, on April 25, Morinaga Milk, Sunkist’s Japanese distributor, introduced that will probably be suspending gross sales of 200-mililter cartons of Sunkist 100% Orange as soon as its present ingredient provide runs out.

So what’s inflicting this OJ scarcity? Japan imports about 90 % of its orange juice, with a lot of it constructed from fruit grown in Brazil, which suffered vital rain harm and a citrus illness outbreak in 2023. At the identical time that offer is taking successful, although, demand is rising within the post-pandemic world financial system, resulting in larger costs. Unfortunately, that is coinciding with the yen cratering in worth versus foreign exchange. According to statistics launched by the Japanese authorities’s Ministry of Finance in March, the in-yen value for importing orange juice has jumped 69 % from a yr in the past, and has doubled since 2019, making it troublesome for Japanese corporations to import it within the present enterprise local weather.

When confronted with excessive import-associated prices for a preferred product, the straightforward resolution would appear to be to only produce it domestically. That’s simpler stated than accomplished, although. Japan’s small dimension and mountainous geography imply that farmable land isn’t really easy to come back by, particularly when different crops like rice, which is closely backed, normally take priority. What’s extra, what citrus farming Japan does have is primarily centered on mikan (mandarin oranges), that are a preferred staple meals however not likely well-suited for making juice, as mikan juice tends to be very syrupy in comparison with orange juice.

Around the identical time as Japan’s orange juice distributors had been saying gross sales suspensions, the Japan Agricultural Cooperatives group of regional co-ops revived its Nokyo Kajitsu model of 100-percent fruit juices, which had been dormant for the final 14 years.

▼ Nokyo Kajitsu

Image: Kyodo Milk Industry

However, each of the Nokyo Kajitsu varieties, which went on sale in April, use mikan juice, not orange juice, and so OJ followers in Japan could also be in for powerful, thirsty days forward.

Source: Japan Agricultural News by way of Otakomu

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— Mikan Gohan: Japanese soul meals or…Japanese delusion?

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