Citrus is a staple during the holidays, and with the US domestic citrus in full swing, the market is well supplied. Trinity Fruit, who grow their citrus in California’s San Joaquin Valley, is currently packing clementines, navels, blood oranges and Cara Caras. “The season has been good so far,” says Levon Ganajian, VP of Retail Relations and Business Development at Trinity Fruit. “The weather has been relatively stable this year and as temperatures begin to go down, the fruit is firming up very nicely. We’ve fortunately not seen any weather issues yet this year and are seeing good quality fruit,” he adds.
Overall volumes are average, mandarin volume is up
Across their citrus varieties, Trinity is seeing volumes comparable to previous years, though they are expecting a larger mandarin crop this season. “The demand for citrus has been good this year. The fact that people are not traveling or going to restaurants has helped retailers, and the pandemic has definitely driven a strong demand for citrus,” says Ganajian.
The citrus market has been relatively stable, according to Ganajian. “Market costs are similar to last year, though the imported mandarins were on the market for a longer time this year and overlapped a little with the domestic season. This meant increased overall volumes in the market and kept pressure on the prices,” he explains. While much looks different in the world and on the markets this year, Trinity’s preparations for the holidays are no different than usual. “We are working closely with our customers and are engaging with them to ensure that we will both have incremental year-over-year sales. We provide sales material options through our marketing team, and our sales staff has been working aggressively to be able to offer month-long, or even season-long pricing. We always try to be as flexible as possible to our customer’s needs,” Ganajian adds.
The pandemic has brought with it an increased demand for packaged items, and Trinity is working hard to be able to have a wide variety of offerings for their customers. “We have to be innovative with our packaging,” says Ganajian. “By working with our retail partners, we have come up with all types of packaging, including clams, bags of 2, 3, 5, and 8 pounds, as well as 1/3rd and ½ cartons and a private label option,” he shares.
In addition to extending their packaging line, Trinity Fruit is also extending their varietal lineup: “We plan on making a big splash with our new Big Honeys label Dekopon Mandarins. These eat like candy and will be available in January,” Ganajian concludes.