FLORIDA CITRUS AGENCY URGING MORE ORANGE JUICE SHELF SPACE

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Florida Department of Citrus here contends that orange juice is not getting the shelf space it deserves and that retailers are losing potential profits as a result.Initial findings of a shelf space study conducted this spring by Nielsen Marketing Research, Northbrook, Ill., for the department of citrus show that while chilled orange juices accounted for 72% of supermarket retail

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Florida Department of Citrus here contends that orange juice is not getting the shelf space it deserves and that retailers are losing potential profits as a result.

Initial findings of a shelf space study conducted this spring by Nielsen Marketing Research, Northbrook, Ill., for the department of citrus show that while chilled orange juices accounted for 72% of supermarket retail dollar sales in the juice category they got only 51% of the facings. The data used in the study were collected during the week ending March 12 from a representative sample of 3,000 stores.

That finding "says that the retail sets in most supermarkets in the country are not laid out properly for the retailer to maximize sales and gross profits," said Daniel Santangelo, executive director for FDOC.

Orange juice earned retailers $20.07 per facing vs. $8.76 per facing for other juices and drinks, according to the findings.

The FDOC is continuing to analyze the data and plans to create formal market reports that will be presented to the nation's top 40 retailers, said Santangelo.

The FDOC commissioned the study after members frequently observed out-of-stocks on key shopping days during informal store visits, said Santangelo.

A buyer for a large Midwestern chain agreed in part with the initial findings of the study, noting that orange juice turns faster than other juices and drinks. However, said the buyer, who asked not to be named, "there are so many other items out there that need to be represented."

Ron Obijiski, vice president of perishables for Metro/Basics, Randallstown, Md., said his company already tries to allocate space based on movement.

"Sometimes one facing is all we give to a specialty item, and you can't give less than that."

But Obijiski acknowledged that refrigerated space is very expensive and can be costly if it is not allocated properly.