Some people prefer orange juice on their cereal instead of milk – but will a promotion from Tropicana to draw attention to the pairing be a splash in the bowl or a new must-have breakfast dish?
It may depend on the palate. Megi Burcl tried it growing up and in college and might try it again.
“I’ve definitely had it before,” Burci said of Winter Haven.
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Hailing from the Washington, DC area, she said, “It was pretty common when I was a kid in the 80s and 90s and not at all unheard of when I was in college in the 00s.”
Adventurous eaters also tried the combination this week as part of Wednesday’s National Orange Juice Day promotional giveaway of Tropicana Crunch cereal boxes ready for orange juice.
The dining experience began with a recent consumer preference survey.
According to Tropicana, “15 million Americans have tried it, which is equal to the entire population of New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago combined.”
With the results of the investigation, the orange juice company decided to package Tropicana Crunch, the first-ever breakfast cereal created to be paired with Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice, according to a statement.
Those willing to try it had a brief opportunity to get their hands on a free box on Wednesday, then were encouraged to post their likes and dislikes to the tasty experience online on TikTok and Instagram.
A limited supply of cereal is being shipped to consumers across the country for consumer feedback, so it’s too early to tell if the combination will catch on.
The Tropicana survey also found that millions more Americans are willing to try orange juice on their cereal and that “half of adults who poured orange juice on their cereal did so because ‘they thought it…would taste good,’ Tropicana said.
Maybe the others ran out of milk.
“Orange juice on cereal. Some call it weird. Some call it breakfast. We . . . didn’t even know that was a thing,” the Tropicana website said. turns out there are some perfectly normal people among us who rush their bowls of cereal.”
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Tropicana has already made waves with citrus product campaigns. Last fall, they produced a toothpaste compatible with orange juice; because the fresh, minty taste of the toothpaste doesn’t go well with the juice.
Tropicana Crunch, is made with clusters of honey almonds that are “crispy and lemony ready,” Tropicana says.
The cereal is granola-based, so it doesn’t get soggy as quickly with regular cereal flakes due to the acidity of orange juice, they said. The taste attribute of honey and almond flavor helps balance the acidity of orange juice, making it a great palette pairing.
“Through taste R&D, we tried multiple flavors, including berry and fruit flavored cereal and cinnamon and sugar flavored cereal, as well as textures,” Tropicana said. “We found this one a lot of fun and kept the Tropicana Pure Premium OJ the taste of Tropicana Pure Premium OJ.”
Turns out Tropicana might be onto something, according to a professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
“There are probably a lot of people in the field who would absolutely tell you that there are rules about hedonic matching,” said Professor Linda Bartoshuk. “Honestly, I don’t think so. Given what we know about palatability, it’s experience. You try it, you like it.”
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In her studies of tastes versus flavors, she explained that tastes are sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.
But flavors are acquired through the experience of eating different foods, from roast beef to chocolate to vanilla. To develop taste preferences, the nose must also smell food.
During evolution, the brain became wired to distinguish tastes in order to survive.
For example, “You must have glucose for your brain to function, you must have salt for your muscles and nerves to function. You must avoid bitters or you will poison yourself, you must avoid strong acids or you will burn your tissues.”
The body also knows it needs calories from foods like cereal, which can be sweet, and orange juice can further enhance sweetness, she said.
“Putting orange juice on cereal makes a lot of sense to me, you want liquid because it breaks down the harshness of some of the crunchier elements of cereal,” Bartoshuk said.
“So I’m not surprised people are trying this,” she said. “And once they try it, the brain picks up on that combination and it learns to like it because what comes with it, the sweet taste and the calories.”
In Florida, there are approximately 569,000 acres of citrus orchards producing primarily oranges for juice and over 74 million citrus trees. Polk County remained the top citrus-growing county in the state.
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In Bartow, Citrus Mutual Executive Vice President and CEO Matt Joyner isn’t counting on the Tropicana promotion to have a huge impact on citrus sales of Florida-grown oranges, but he was both excited and amused. by promoting.
“I think it clearly had the intended effect,” he said. “It created a buzz around our favorite juice. I just hurt that I couldn’t score a box,” he laughed.
“There’s been a lot of publicity for orange juice and it’s exciting,” said Joyner, who admitted he tried juice on cereal as a kid but didn’t pan out. went so well.
He said he was not qualified to comment on how the promotion might lead consumers to buy more juice for their cereal.
Thor Harris, CEO of Percepture, a New York-based ad agency, called the Tropicana Crunch “a terrific marketing campaign, similar to what IHOP did when it ‘became’ ‘IHOB.’
The move positioned IHOP as a dinner restaurant, with burgers and other dinner options as well as breakfast and brunch options.
“I see this as a way for the juice brand to remind consumers that this is more than just a breakfast drink,” Harris said. “There is potentially another way to look at this.”
“There is a continued migration from traditional milk to alternative milks for many uses, including in breakfast cereals,” he added. “Value propositions here include providing a lactose-free option, a higher protein alternative, or providing a similar option but with a better texture.”
Tropicana Products, Inc., a division of PepsiCo, Inc., is a leading producer and marketer of branded fruit juices.
Paul Nutcher covers business and industry for The Ledger. He can be contacted at [email protected]