Florida’s Pure Orange Juice Has an Superb Story

Florida’s Pure Orange Juice Has an Superb Story

Cartoon by Dan Rattiner for Florida's Natural orange juice and caviar
Cartoon by Dan Rattiner

The world is split into two teams. One group reads the labels on cereal containers throughout breakfast. The opposite doesn’t.

I belong to the previous group, and benefit from the tales that get instructed on these labels — even when prompted by others on the desk who belong to the opposite group and assume me impolite for studying. So be it.

It’s fascinating as a result of what will get printed on a label is a compromise between what the federal government inspectors will permit and what the producers need to say to get the product flying off the cabinets.

Nonetheless, yesterday morning I learn a label that actually amazed me. It concerned an orange juice carton with “Florida’s Pure 100% Premium Orange Juice” inside.

It’s fairly a narrative.

Again within the Fifties after I was a boy, the one orange juice we may get right here in New York was frozen orange juice (referred to as “Birdseye”). However then, about 1970, simply in regards to the time that Walt Disney World opened, an enterprising firm referred to as Tropicana started transport fresh-squeezed orange juice to New York Metropolis by rail. A particular pasteurizing course of made this potential. Everybody was delighted with this.

Additionally, Tropicana, in central Florida, had made offers with some orange growers within the space to plant and harvest oranges on a staggered foundation, so month by month it could be obtainable all yr round. Into the manufacturing unit would come freshly picked oranges. Out would go the cartons of freshly squeezed juice.

Tropicana dominated the roost this fashion till the Nineteen Nineties when a gaggle of different Florida growers who had not signed up with Tropicana now had a growers cooperative that might promote the very same factor and write about how they had been impartial and can be pleased for those who would assist them.

Florida's Natural orange juice carton, Photo: Dan Rattiner
Florida’s Pure orange juice carton, Photograph: Dan Rattiner

So, after that, in our close by grocery store we’d come dwelling with both Tropicana or Florida’s Pure, which stood facet by facet on the cabinets and had been about the identical value. And tasted nearly the identical. Appeared like American competitors at its finest.

Florida’s Pure had this on their carton: “Florida’s Pure is a proud citrus cooperative that’s owned by lots of of Florida farmers and their households. We’re actual individuals working collectively for over 5 generations to develop the fantastic citrus all of us love.”

Besides there was now one thing new on the carton we introduced dwelling final week. How shall I put this. It now seems that Florida’s Pure, in its competitors with Tropicana, was falling behind. Right here’s what is claimed on the carton proper after “…the fantastic citrus all of us love.”

“Sadly, Mom Nature has been fairly harsh over the previous years, and our harvest is about 70% decrease than only a decade in the past. There’s simply not sufficient juice in Florida, so all our varieties now include a mix of juice from Florida and Mexico.”

Uh-oh.

“Relaxation assured although; as a citrus cooperative we’re all arms in, from tree to desk, working collectively, choosing solely the sweetest, juiciest oranges to carry you essentially the most scrumptious, freshest-tasting juice you like from Florida’s Pure. Collectively, from tree to desk, Florida’s Pure.”

A full-color {photograph} accompanying this textual content exhibits a smiling younger Florida farmer carrying denims and a inexperienced Florida Pure baseball cap looking at you whereas fortunately carrying a wood crate of contemporary Florida oranges. It says Florida Pure on the facet of the crate. And adjoining to this {photograph} is the caption “Deeley Hunt of Lake Wales, Florida” so we all know who he’s.

As you flip the container a bit, nonetheless, you encounter writing about Mexico. “A premium mix of our Florida not-from-concentrate orange juice and the perfect orange juice from Mexico.”

So there’s this Mexican farmer someplace saying to a fellow employee, “Pedro, these containers on the best are our greatest stuff. Goes to America.” Proper.

Did you discover that the Florida orange juice is not-from-concentrate orange juice however there’s no point out of the Mexican orange juice being not-from-concentrate?

Effectively, within the small print down on the underside of 1 facet, our authorities requires that the substances be listed. And so they’re. Listed below are the primary three substances. “Water. Orange Juice, Concentrated Orange Juice.”

Elsewhere on the label is the assertion “Contemporary From the Grove Style.” I’m undecided, however I feel earlier than Mexico bought concerned it learn “Contemporary from the Grove,” with out the phrase “style” after it. It could have handed muster.

The primary actual job I had after I completed faculty was working as a copywriter for an enormous Manhattan promoting company referred to as Foote, Cone & Belding. Tossing all of the phrases that may seem on the facet of meals containers was among the many issues we did throughout my time there.

What on this planet do you do when frozen orange juice from one other nation must be trucked up and combined in with the contemporary stuff? In one other day at one other time, we entrepreneurs would have figured this out a bit higher, I feel — and nonetheless cross the meals and drug administration tips.

The largest drawback is perhaps the identify of the cooperative itself. Florida’s Pure. What the hell. It’s solely partly Florida’s Pure now.

How about “Florida’s Alternative?” Simply attempting to assist right here.

After all all of it comes all the way down to the way it tastes. We didn’t have any Tropicana in the home. So I needed to do a free affiliation model of the comparability. I made a decision the orange colour regarded nearly neon. And the style was, effectively, bizarre.

The subsequent day, nonetheless with out Tropicana, I attempted the free affiliation take a look at once more. And this time it tasted okay. Possibly I’d simply freaked out yesterday. Can’t make sure.

Seems to be like Tropicana, which continues to market solely fresh-squeezed orange juice, is perhaps driving Florida’s Pure into uncharted territory. Simply must roll with the punches, I assume.

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