Sunkist Growers’ Cassie Howard Shares Citrus Tips for Mother's Day


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Tue. April 23rd, 2024 - by Chandler James

VALENCIA, CA - Family is the most important thing in my life, and my mom is the central piece of our little unit. Mother’s Day gives me an excuse to celebrate her even more, and what better way to celebrate than with fresh produce? I got in touch with Sunkist Growers’ Cassie Howard, Senior Director of Category Management and Marketing, to hear how the supplier is promoting citrus for Mother’s Day.

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

“During Mother's Day, Sunkist has an array of in-season citrus varieties ready for shoppers, including Navel oranges, Cara Cara oranges, Blood oranges, lemons, and California Mandarins. Spring is also when we see the emergence of California Star Ruby grapefruit, a fruit that offers delicious flavors and vital nutrients that enhance overall well-being,” Cassie told me.

Citrus overall is an important part of the consumers’ shopping basket this time of year—it's when Sunkist sees the highest household penetration for lemons. Lemons also drive recipe inspiration, with two-thirds of lemon shoppers using lemons to flavor water and more than two-thirds purchasing lemons for recipes.

Sunkist Growers has an array of in-season citrus varieties ready for shoppers this Mother's Day, including Navel oranges, Cara Cara oranges, Blood oranges, lemons, and California Mandarins

“Whether they’re the main player or mom’s secret ingredient, the flavor of Sunkist’s lemons brightens and brings a twist to any trending dish. Add our zest, peel, and juice to a start-your-day right loaf, or get baking with your new favorite focaccia recipe to end the night right with this Instagrammable sweet,” Cassie continued.

Additionally, California Star Ruby grapefruits have heart-healthy benefits and antioxidants that promote glowing skin. This Mother’s Day, consumers might try Sunkist’s fresh honey and thyme grapefruit cocktail, these no-bake grapefruit white chocolate oat cookies, or grain salad.

“We have learned a lot about grapefruit shoppers over the years, and according to a new Sunkist-commissioned study, grapefruit buyers are loyal to the variety, with 50 percent purchasing the nutrient-packed A-lister multiple times per month,” Cassie explained. “When speaking with shoppers, we also know that pricing/promotions and a strengthened focus on health are the key ways to encourage more grapefruit purchases.”

Sunkist Growers' California Star Ruby grapefruits are another standout item in the citrus sector this season

Sunkist’s shoppable recipe programs and merchandising toolkit feature interactive point-of-sale materials with scannable QR codes, providing shoppers with real-time recipe inspiration and utilization tips. With bigger sizes this season, Sunkist has expanded offerings to fit the needs of its retail partners, providing multiple bag options and customizable merchandising to not negatively impact bulk purchases.

“At Sunkist, we aim to be our shoppers' go-to resource for innovation in citrus and instilling healthy habits at home. Currently, Sunkist is collaborating with trending food and lifestyle experts and mom-influencers on behalf of its Sunkist Matchmakers campaign, sharing delectable adventures and citrus-infused activities fit for the whole family,” Cassie relayed. “Sunkist has enhanced its recipe page by installing a random ingredient pairing generator to encourage citrus fans to think outside the box and help inflation-pinched shoppers get creative in the kitchen with groceries they already have on hand.”

As Mother’s Day approaches, stick with us at ANUK for more merchandising tips.