Why you'll never be able to drink Odwalla again

Are you a fan of Odwalla products? If so, better run out to the supermarket and stock up now, since the supply that's currently on store shelves may be the last you'll ever see of Odwalla. This formerly funky little company — founded in 1980 by three Santa Cruz jazz musicians, according to KSBW8 was bought out in 2001 by the Coca-Cola company, and that company is now quietly divesting itself of this particular line of juices, smoothies, and protein shakes.

As CNN Business reports, Odwalla will cease production at the end of July. A statement from Cola-Cola explains that this wasn't an easy call for the company to make, saying, "... despite every effort to support continued production and delivery service The Coca-Cola Company has made the decision to discontinue the Odwalla brand and its products." They added, though, that this move was not directly related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Why Coca-Cola is pulling the plug on Odwalla

The main reason why Odwalla is getting shut down has to do with money — specifically, not making enough of it. The product's sales over the past few years have been slumping, probably because, as a company spokesperson told CNN Business, health-conscious consumers are less interested in smoothies these days. Talking Retail also confirmed the decline in the smoothie market due to these drinks containing excessive amounts of sugar. While Odwalla tried to keep up with the times, introducing "Zero Sugar" smoothies and "Smoobuchas" that combined smoothies with kombucha, Oddwalla simply wasn't delivering the sales numbers that would make them a core product for Coca-Cola.

Although the pandemic didn't directly contribute to the decline of Odwalla, it may have accelerated the brand's departure. Coca-Cola, along with other retailers, is working to downsize its range of offerings in order to maximize profits, the same impetus that may lie behind both McDonald's and IHOP's newly-downsized menus, as well. As Coke CEO James Quincey explained in a conference call a few months ago, "We're focused on maximizing system efficiency by ruthlessly prioritizing to deliver on core [products] and key brands." Well, okay, a company's got to do what they've got to do. Still, we're sure going to miss those Mango Tangos and Blueberry Monsters and all the rest of Odwalla's weird but good smoothie combos when they go off to join that crowded Coca-Cola product graveyard.