Sun Pacific's Kate Reeb, Bee Sweet Citrus' Monique Bienvenue, and Sunkist Growers' Christina Ward Talks Holiday Citrus
- by Melissa De Leon Chavez
CALIFORNIA - Citrus-fueled drinks, desserts, and more will be among the needs of consumers as the holiday festivities begin. With demand for the category on the rise, I checked in with the experts to see how citrus is faring.
“Cuties® clementines have just started up, and supplies will be increasing each week in November. We are getting the pipeline filled for the holiday promotions, and with our Cuties holiday packaging, Cuties displays shippers, our consumer Spread the Cheer Sweepstakes starting Nov 19th, we are seeing strong demand by retailers,” Kate Reeb, Director of Marketing for Sun Pacific, tells me. She explains that California navels are up and running with with decent sizing, great flavor, and that volume looks to be steady for the Thanksgiving holiday.
I ask her what the buy-side should note as one of the biggest eating days of the year approaches.
“With the holidays right around the corner, navel promotions are favorable toward bags, especially as it’s really convenient for retailers to drop a bin of bags on the produce floor to keep up with the holiday increased traffic and demand in the stores,” she says. “Vintage Sweets® from our old grove, super sweet heirloom navels, and Sun Pacific’s Cara Caras will fill out the citrus category in mid-December and allow retailers a variety of opportunities for promotions to delight consumers during the holidays. In addition, our Meyer Lemons are in big demand during the holiday season as they have become one of the hottest culinary ingredients for festive cocktails, holiday baking, and cooking.”
Monique Bienvenue, Director of Communications for Bee Sweet Citrus, comments that while citrus is in demand year-round, the industry always sees a higher need for many of the varieties available throughout the holiday season.
“With festive celebrations right around the corner, many of our specialty varieties are sought out for their healthy, nutritional components and delicious flavor profiles. Not only do our specialty varieties complement many holiday dessert recipes, they can also help families ward off the common cold and flu. Being that citrus fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, citrus can act as a healthy immunity-boosting snack to many families this holiday season,” Monique shares.
“With California’s citrus domestic season in full swing, consumers can expect to see Satsuma mandarins, lemons, and Navel oranges at their local retailers. By the middle of December, they can also anticipate the arrival of Cara Cara navels, Blood oranges and Minneola tangelos,” she adds.
Sunkist Growers, too, is ramping up for peak winter citrus demand. But Director of Communications Christina Ward tells me that with experience on its side, the team is ready.
“Sunkist has been growing high-quality citrus for 125 years, and thanks to the California and Arizona sunshine over this past summer, we have ample volumes of all varieties for the 2018-2019 citrus season. The addition of Cara Cara and blood oranges are perfect for the upcoming holiday surge,” she says. “Our versatile displays and Sunkist citrus destinations make for an appetizing in-store holiday spread. We also have 2-3 pound bags for festive holiday cocktails and dishes; great for the bar and essential for the kitchen.”
As consumers look to stock up on all their produce ingredients for the holidays, AndNowUKnow will bring you the latest on those must-have categories.