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Chile ships its first citrus shipment for the US market

The Chilean citrus season began in week 15 with the first shipment of clementines to the US market. According to the latest forecast, Chile will produce 45,000 tons of clementines, 120,000 tons of mandarins, 90,000 tons of oranges, and 90,000 tons of lemons this season.

The production volume is expected to decrease by 12% over 2021 due to logistical and climatic issues. Despite the fall, Juan Enrique Ortuzar, the president of the Chilean Citrus Committee, remains optimistic about the future of the industry. “We are facing a challenging season in many aspects, but citrus has grown into an incredibly strong category all year round. The volume of Chilean citrus has increased by 25% in the last five years. We believe that there will continue to be opportunities for growth because of the quality we offer.”

The United States received 88% of all Chilean citrus exports in 2021 and 97% of the clementines and mandarins that the country exported. The volume will be lower this year (especially in the case of clementines, where the sector expects a 35% decrease in volume), but the US will continue to receive the majority of Chilean citrus exports. To support this volume, the Citrus Committee is finalizing a robust marketing campaign that will help create demand and drive sales in retail.

The Committee will focus mainly on retail promotions. According to Karen Brux, Marketing Director of the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA) of North America: “This season, perhaps more than ever, it is crucial that we work closely with commerce on flexible and targeted programs to drive sales. Having encountered numerous logistical problems over the past year, we have learned how to implement flexible programs that can be quickly activated and deactivated. The ability to be fast, agile, and creative will continue to be important during the citrus season.”

To this end, the Citrus Committee is developing a new brand campaign that will include digital ads, influencer posts, virtual demos, as well as programs with shopping apps such as Shopkick. The Committee will also implement programs in stores that highlight the superior flavor, nutrition, and convenience of Chilean citrus fruits.

Weekly crop reports will be distributed to trade starting week 19.



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