Sunkist Growers, the 128-year-old fresh citrus marketing cooperative, celebrates the return of citrus season with the classic and vitamin C-packed Navel orange, along with new shopper behavior trends and category management solutions to support retail partners.
“We’re excited to meet with customers and share what we have planned for our new season,” said Jeff Gaston, Managing Director of North America Sales at Sunkist Growers. “Even though we are apart, it is great to see the industry come together to celebrate nutritious foods. At Sunkist, we’re all about providing value-add to our retail partners to keep the citrus category going strong.”
According to Information Resources, Inc. data, the entire citrus category grew by 20 percent over the previous year. More specifically, in May, orange sales were up 73 percent, and there continued to be strong momentum throughout the summer. The ability to stock up and have oranges on hand is an important factor in consumer decision making, and all citrus varieties continue to be the preferred healthy snack for citrus shoppers of all ages.
“Shopper behavior and consumption trends are continually evolving,” added Cassie Howard, Director of Category Management. “Sunkist commissioned a study to go a step further and understand why consumers are buying citrus now more than ever and how together we can keep the category top-of-mind. Our team is ready to build relevant marketing programs with our retail partners, speaking directly to what is driving their citrus shopper by variety.”
With nearly 40 fresh citrus varieties, the Sunkist portfolio includes oranges, lemons, grapefruit, mandarins, tangerines and tangelos. Sunkist also offers customizable retail marketing programs, including point-of-sale materials, merchandising displays, digital and on-pack coupons, sampling, in-pack giveaways, social media, digital advertising, and influencer programs and nutrition education support.
“Consumers rediscovered their love for citrus and vitamin C this year, and emphasized the importance of shelf-ability in the fresh foods they are buying,” said Christina Ward, Director of Global Brand Marketing at Sunkist. “As a result, we continue to expand our nutrition education program to build awareness of the health benefits and nutritious attributes of our fruit, while offering at-home cooking inspiration and citrus-forward snacking options.”
Sunkist is bringing nutrition to the forefront with a new vitamin C portal, where consumers can learn more about the health benefits of their favorite citrus varieties offered by California and Arizona grower members. The sweet, seedless and less acidic Cara Cara orange comes back in December. Cara Cara oranges are known as The Power Orange® because it offers 100 percent of the recommended daily vitamin C intake in just one orange. Other specialty citrus varietals coming soon include the savory, rich Blood orange and the juicy, bold, and tangy Minneola tangelo, both high in Vitamin C offerings with exceptional flavor.