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The season of sick is bringing Americans and orange juice back together.

Charlie Heller
February 09, 2018

Flu season is not good, and this year has been particularly not good. But there is small bright spot among the mucus: Anxiety about the flu is actually getting Americans to rekindle their love of orange juice. Yes, according to the Wall Street Journal, sales of everyone's favorite orange citrus drink grew .9 percent over the most recent four week period measured which ended last month. Which might not sound like sound like much, until you consider it is the first time in nearly five years that OJ sales have increased whatsoever.

While you might think of orange juice as a ubiquitous morning habit, its sales in the U.S. have fallen by a pretty staggering 50 percent since the year 2001, due to what the WSJ says are changing consumer attitudes towards its high sugar content. But one belief American's can't seem to shake is the idea that OJ and its high quantity of Vitamin C can do something to shake the flu.

And so, during what the CDC calls a record-breaking flu season, you get this most recent bump, with 38.66 gallons of orange juice sold during the first period measured in 2018. Even though the National Institute of Health says there's no evidence that orange juice will actually do anything to stop the flu!

And it's not the first time this has happened, either. In the middle of that precipitously pulpy decline back in 2009, the H1N1 (a.k.a. swine flu) outbreak coincided with an 8 percent rise in OJ sales.

Of course, whatever the science says, there will always be one major benefit to drinking orange juice, in sickness or in health: it is delicious. And while its internal compounds might not be the best combination to be had in tandem with brushing your teeth, they do lend themselves to more than a few delicious and colorful cocktails.