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The Houston Chronicle reports on how orange juice brands such as Minute Maid and Tropicana are responding to freeze-related price increases and declining sales by “relying on many new offerings for health-conscious consumers to overcome the downward trend in consumption.”

In other words, the status quo isn’t acceptable for either company.

“Minute Maid recently launched vitamin-enhanced juices, adding to its array of more than 200 beverage products,” the Chronicle reports. “The company has drinks for those who worry about acid reflux, heart disease or follow a low-carb diet, just to name a few.” Packaging also can make a difference – the Chronicle notes that Minute Maid’s “Simply Orange brand, packaged in a clear carafe, has become one of the biggest successes” with a 26 percent sales increase last year even as the entire category suffered double digit declines.

In addition, Tropicana “has updated its package design and boosted spending on advertising” and has “launched orange juice with Omega-3, which the company says helps promote a healthy heart.”
KC's View:
Our first reaction to this story was to be a little rueful…it used to be that we’d chuckle about innovations such as orange juice for people with acid reflux disease, and now we think to ourselves that this is a pretty good idea maybe we should get it to wash down our Nexium.

In a broader sense, though, this is a good object lesson – the response to sales declines ought not to be to hunker down and “get back to fundamentals,” to use a time-honored and frankly tiresome phrase, but to invest in new, potential differential advantages.