Sunkist Growers, LIV Produce, and Bee Sweet Citrus Share Exclusive Category Insights


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Fri. January 19th, 2024 - by Peggy Packer

UNITED STATES - I don’t know about your shoppers, but my mind is currently occupied with all things citrus! The January and early February months bring prime opportunities to the category, and a few of our supply-side friends recently shared some exclusive insights regarding which varieties to spotlight during this time frame.

Cassie Howard, Senior Director of Category Management and Marketing, Sunkist Growers
Cassie Howard, Senior Director of Category Management and Marketing, Sunkist Growers

"According to Circana, season-to-date citrus is trending ahead of last year, outpacing total produce and fruit. As we’ve entered the New Year, our specialty citrus varieties are already hitting the shelves, and we’ve seen the building up of consumer demand," Cassie Howard, Senior Director of Category Management and Marketing at Sunkist Growers, shared exclusively with ANUK. "The late start to our season has also provided some unique wins over the holidays, including a strong start to the California desert grapefruit, increased volume in lemons, and continued year-over-year demand for our holiday Navel program. The fruit this year is also producing some of the largest sizes we have seen in recent memory, creating bountiful opportunities for retailers to provide great value to their customers with big fruit offerings."

This presents a strong opportunity for retailers to capitalize on the return of specialty citrus offerings, from Cara Caras to Blood oranges, Minneola tangelos, and more. Categories are especially abundant as newly set New Year’s resolutions and the Lunar New Year send shoppers in search of high-quality citrus.

Opportunities are abundant for retailers in the citrus sector as a host of specialty varieties are available

LIV Produce also provided a glimpse into its current citrus production.

Anthony Innocenti, Managing Partner, LIV Produce
Anthony Innocenti, Managing Partner, LIV Produce

"We’re in the peak of the season on Navels, lemons, and grapefruit," Anthony Innocenti, Managing Partner, told me. "In particular, the varieties of grapefruit we are currently producing are some of the best in the industry, and we’re also about to start our local Mandarin program in San Diego, California. As for lemons, demand has remained strong, which has led to firm pricing for the category. We’re in the thick of the season and currently packing all premium-quality fruit."

As Bee Sweet Citrus shares, recent rain in the California region has not posed any major impact on the provider’s harvests.

Sergio Rodriguez, Sales Representative, Bee Sweet Citrus
Sergio Rodriguez, Sales Representative, Bee Sweet Citrus

"Currently, the citrus quality is looking good. This year, the percentage of choice fruit is higher due to thrip damage. 88’s and smaller, both grades, are extremely limited and will continue to be for the remainder of the season," Sergio Rodriguez, Sales Representative, noted.

ANUK will continue to monitor this staple produce category and more, so be on the lookout for our latest market updates.