Tarrytown, NY-based importer, Jac. Vandenberg has high expectations for the 2021 summer citrus season as it begins receiving its first citrus containers from the southern hemisphere.
Of the 28,000 tons of citrus Vandenberg imports, just about half of this volume is in mandarins.
With citrus remaining a hot item on shopping lists, Vandenberg is optimistic for a good season. Its citrus portfolio includes lemons, oranges, mandarins, grapefruit and tangelos from Argentina, Australia, Chile, Peru, South Africa and Uruguay.
Of the 28,000 tons of citrus it imports, just about half of this volume is in mandarins. Vandenberg has already received its first containers of off-shore easy-peelers from Peru and Uruguay and will see the first arrivals from Chile and South Africa within a few weeks. The weather conditions in all growing regions have been conducive to growing mandarins and the expectations are that there will be a good, healthy crop. Vandenberg expects to see an increase in the total volume entering the US market but not at the same pace as last season. The biggest growth in volume is expected in Murcotts available in late August through October.
Vandenberg has seen steady growth on its SUNRAYS brand since its introduction in 2017.
While demand has been a key contributor for why mandarins make up such a high percentage of their total summer citrus portfolio, Vandenberg maintains another important contributor is the success of the SUNRAYS® brand.
“Since we introduced SUNRAYS in 2017, we’ve seen steady growth year after year,” says John Paap, Jac. Vandenberg’s brand manager. “We’ve invested resources into developing a brand that resonates with today’s shopper when it comes to quality, flavor, mission and story. Couple that with a kid-friendly design centered around our partnership with Save the Children and our environmental initiatives, we’ve seen tremendous success.”
Vandenberg offers retailers various marketing tools, both digital and in-store, to help share the SUNRAYS story. Vandenberg will partner with retailers this summer to organize display contests to continue to drive excitement around the SUNRAYS brand.
Vandenberg's BIO bags are mesh netting made 100 percent of beechwood from PEFC-certified forests and are certified home compostable.
Another area of excitement for Vandenberg is in its sustainability initiatives. Last year, Vandenberg unveiled its BIO bags--mesh netting made 100 percent of beechwood from PEFC-certified forests and certified home compostable.
“The volume packed in the BIO bags was relatively low last summer since it had only recently been introduced. However, we’ve seen incredible interest in this bag leading up to this summer and so we’ve had to expand our operation by securing additional equipment to pack in the BIO bags,” says Paap. The netting is manufactured by VPZ in Austria with a zero-carbon footprint and Vandenberg is the exclusive receiver of this material in the United States.
Vandenberg is offering BIO bags for its citrus products packed in the SUNRAYS and Bagu labels.