Jac. Vandenberg Details Summer Citrus Programs
- by Chandler James
TARRYTOWN, NY - Jac. Vandenberg is setting a high bar for citrus quality as it recently began receiving its first containers of the season. With citrus remaining a hot item on many consumer’s shopping lists, Vandenberg is seeing continued demand for its lemons, oranges, mandarins, grapefruits, and tangelos from Argentina, Australia, Chile, Peru, South Africa, and Uruguay, with the SUNRAYS® mandarin brand driving a significant fraction of this success.
“Since we introduced SUNRAYS in 2017, we’ve seen steady growth year after year,” says Brand Manager John Paap. “We’ve invested a lot of resources into developing a brand that resonates with today’s shopper when it comes to quality, flavor, mission, and story. We have set a high standard for what is packed in the SUNRAYS brand to ensure that the consumer always has the best possible eating experience. Couple that with a kid-friendly design centered around our partnership with Save the Children and our environmental initiatives, we’ve seen tremendous success and demand.”
Last summer, Vandenberg imported over 28,000 tons of citrus and expects to see an increase this season. According to a press release, about half of this volume is composed of mandarins. The company predicts an increase in the total volume entering the U.S. market, but not at the same pace as last season. The biggest growth in volume is expected in Murcotts, which are available in late August through October.
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 not caused any concerns, and expectations are that there will be a good, healthy crop.
Through its robust citrus programs, Vandenberg offers retailers various marketing tools, both digital and in-store, to help share the SUNRAYS story with shoppers. Vandenberg will be partnering with several retailers across the country this summer to organize display contests to continue to drive excitement around the SUNRAYS brand.
Another area of excitement for Vandenberg is in its sustainability initiatives. Just last year, Vandenberg unveiled its new BIO bags, which feature mesh netting made of beechwood from PEFC-certified forests and is certified home compostable. Vandenberg shares that this package is seeing significant growth entering the 2021 summer citrus season.
“The volume packed in the BIO bags was relatively low last summer since it had only recently been introduced. However, we’ve seen incredible growth in 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. “We are excited to see retailers and consumers alike supporting and falling in love with this netting as much as us! There is truly nothing else like it on the U.S. market right now, and we are thrilled to be able to offer something that is genuinely sustainable.”
Vandenberg is offering its BIO bags for all its citrus products packed in the SUNRAYS and Bagu labels. With anticipated strong citrus demand, growth of the SUNRAYS brand, and desire for sustainable packaging, it is clear to see why Vandenberg is expecting a successful summer citrus season.
So, how will you be differentiating your citrus sets this season?