The Chilean Citrus Season kicked off in Week 15 as the first shipment of clementines set sail for the U.S. market. Chile will supply clementines, mandarins, navels and lemons to the U.S. market, with promotional support starting in June and continuing through October.
The current total Chilean Citrus forecast across categories is as follows:
- Clementines: 45,000 tons
- Mandarins: 120,000 tons
- Navels: 90,000 tons
- Lemons: 90,000 tons
Chile will supply clementines (right) , mandarins, navels (left) and lemons to the U.S. market, with promotional support starting in June and continuing through October.
Logistical and climatic issues have impacted overall volume, resulting in an anticipated 12 percent decrease from 2021. Nonetheless, Juan Enrique Ortuzar, president of the Chilean Citrus Committee, remains optimistic about the industry’s future. “We face a challenging season in many respects, but citrus has grown into an incredibly strong, year-round category. Chilean citrus volume has increased by 25 percent over the past five years. With our quality proposition, we believe there will continue to be growth opportunities.”
The U.S. received 88 percent of all Chilean citrus exports in 2021, with 97 percent of clementines and mandarins shipped to the U.S. Volume will be lower this year (especially for clementines, where a volume decrease of 35 percent is anticipated), but the U.S. will continue receiving the majority of Chilean citrus exports. To support this volume, the Citrus Committee is finalizing a robust marketing campaign that will help build demand and drive sales at the retail level.
The Citrus Committee is finalizing a robust marketing campaign that will help build demand and drive sales at the retail level.
Retail promotions will be the key focus for the Committee. “This season, perhaps more than ever, it’s crucial we work closely with the trade on flexible, targeted programs to drive sales,” says Karen Brux, managing director of the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association. “Having encountered numerous logistical issues over the past year, we’ve learned how to implement flexible programs that can be turned on and off quickly. The ability to be fast, nimble and creative will continue to be important during the citrus season.”
To this effect, the Citrus Committee is developing a new branded campaign that will include digital ads, influencer posts and virtual demos, as well as programs with shopping apps like Shopkick. With the return of more and more in-store merchandising opportunities, the Committee will also implement in-store programs that highlight the superior taste, nutrition and convenience of Chilean Citrus. Weekly crop reports will be distributed to the trade starting from Week 19.