Juicing Economics - Orange Juice
One of the least researched topics on juicers is the economics of juicing. Is it cheaper to juice your own fruit or just buy a box from the supermarket?The juicer we will assume to be either a vertical or horizontal slow juicer and we will look at just orange juice as this is by far the most popular fruit drink
So first consideration is how much juice do you get out of an orange? How long is a piece of string is a similar question.
Lots of "depends" in the answer to that simple question, such as orange size, ripeness, season, source and variety. So to simplify this we need to just assume we have a "normal" orange. Various tests have been performed over the years and these "norms" tend to hold long term reliability, so we will use them in our calculations too.
Here is our "normal" orange:
It weighs 220grams and 8 of them will make a litre of pure orange juice. In metric terms we will asume that 1 litre of orange juice weighs 1 kilogram.
So from this "normal" orange, we can see that we can get 1 kg (1 litre) of orange juice from 1.76kg of whole oranges (8 x 220g). So our yield is 1.0/1.76 = 56.8%. We will use 56% yield for this exercise.
Next "fact" is how much are oranges? The answer is again "dependent" on other factors, like how many do you buy, what time of the year you buy and where do you buy them from.
This is a key part of the question really, as this is where the cost lies, as we are going to assume that your time making it and the small cost of power are both nil.
Here are a couple of sources (March 2017) and the costs :
Oranges here are £0.65 for a 1kg bag
George Perry - http://www.georgeperry.co.uk/Oranges.html
Oranges here are £14.00 for 15kg, or £0.93 per kg
Aldi has a lower price but lower weight, while George Perry has a larger volume and higher cost. Let's use the lowest priced product for this calculation.
If we need 1.76kg to make a litre of juice, the cost will be £1.15 (1.76 x £0.65, rounded up to nearest penny).
By comparison, bulk buying oranges gives a comparative cost of £1.64 (1.76 x £0.93).
So in conclusion we could make a litre of fresh orange juice for £1.15.
Next, how much is the box version ?
The most popular brand of juices is Tropicana, with the flavour most customers would associate with pure fresh orange juice. We can buy this from various outlets and here are a couple of examples (March 2017):
So the best box price is £1.50 for 950ml, or £1.58 per litre
For convenience, you can get box orange at £1.58 a litre
Make it yourself for £1.15 a litre for a 27% saving.
Also to consider is the QUALITY of the juice. Your home juiced orange will be far better than the Tropicana version. While Tropicana might be what you think orange juice should taste like, the company actually adds a chemical called ethyl butyrate to the concentrate to give the same "taste" to all their juices sold all around the world from different global sources.
Another reason why your own made fresh orange juice will taste better is because it is made from the "pretty" oranges, that is, those that look nice and are of a reasonable size, shape and ripeness. All the rest of a growers harvest, like the deformed fruit, under ripe fruit, damaged fruit all go off to be made into juice concentrate for your box fresh juice.... hmmm
So for economics, tick for home made juice.
For quality, another tick for home made juice
I know which I would prefer. How about you?