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Kevin Fiori, Sunkist
Population growth and increasing middle class drive citrus demandAt last week's PMA Fresh Connections Southern Africa, Kevin Fiori from Sunkist was one of the speakers. Fresh Plaza caught up with him to find out more about the current citrus market and Sunkist's role in it.
Fiori explains that there has been a big change in the international growth in the citrus market, the export demand continues to increase at a high pace and statistics show that it will continue on this trend, Sunkist's exports were up 20% 10 years ago and now are up by 35%.
"We continue to expand our production capability and to look at market development. Population growth and increasing numbers in the middle class in countries such as China are the factor driving demand right now," explains Fiori. Sunkist's biggest export markets are Japan, China, Korea, Hong Kong and Australia and New Zealand. The main source is from the California/Arizona coop, but they also source from South Africa, Chile, Australia and Morocco.
When asked if the Russian bans would affect business, Fiori said they do very little business there. "There may be a repositioning of resources due to the Russian situation but only time will tell."
Fiori admits that Africa is an amazing new emerging market and there may be opportunities down the road in this market, but other markets which are closer or more accesible will remain the focus for Sunkist for now.
Sunkist are one of the who have taken a big interest in using the social media for marketing, "There is no question that social networks are the new medium for marketing to consumers," explains Fiori. "We are still navigating it like everyone else, but the key is the same as with traditional maketing, the need to be honest and genuine. What is different is that it is a conversation, not an advertisement and how you get that message out is critically important."
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