Christina Ward of Sunkist Growers Discusses Peak California Citrus Season and Spring Promotions



Christina Ward of Sunkist Growers Discusses Peak California Citrus Season and Spring Promotions


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VALENCIA, CA - Like many consumers, I just can’t escape the citrus craze. This beloved section of the produce department is lined with a vast selection of alluring varieties, and we have Sunkist Growers to thank. With peak California citrus season upon us, the grower-owned cooperative is wielding its strong portfolio to Celebrate Every Bite™ this spring season.

Christina Ward, Senior Director of Global Marketing, Sunkist Growers“While the much-needed rain in California adjusted our harvesting schedules, the crops are up in volume this season across most varieties,” shares Christina Ward, Senior Director of Global Marketing. “Overall, this season's varieties taste excellent and deliver juicy and delicious flavors to consumers everywhere. Spring promotions are a great way to introduce unique specialty varieties to new shoppers—our teams are ready to support retail partners with relevant marketing programs to educate shoppers on what's in season and where the fruit is grown.”

Sunkist is a fresh citrus cooperative with over 1,500 grower members and nearly 40 citrus varieties produced in California and Arizona. Currently, the supplier’s available lineup includes Sunkist® Navel, Cara Cara, and Blood oranges; Minneola tangelos; conventional seedless lemons; Meyer lemons; grapefruit; Mandarins; Gold Nuggets, as well as organic Navels, Caras, Blood oranges, lemons, and Murcotts.

With peak California citrus season upon us, Sunkist is wielding its strong portfolio to Celebrate Every Bite™ this spring season

After seeing success in its Strawberry Shortcake collaboration with Sunkist Blood oranges last season, Sunkist has now expanded the program to include its Cara Cara oranges and lemons.

“Specialty citrus is key to expanding the category, and Sunkist Cara Cara oranges, Blood oranges, and Minneola tangelos are peaking right now and are only available for a limited time,” Christina says. “Sunkist Legacy Heirloom Navel oranges are also available and honor the many multi-generational family farmers within our cooperative—passing down knowledge from generation to generation. Available now through May, our peak-of-season Sunkist Legacy Heirloom Navel oranges are extra sweet and nature’s seasonal gift. The classic design with custom illustration was consumer-tested and received an overwhelmingly positive response, with surveyed shoppers saying they would purchase this new packaging.”

This program also includes square and quarter bins attracting shoppers with a dark blue background, traditional art, and elegant gold trim.

Sunkist Legacy Heirloom Navel oranges are also available and honor the many multi-generational family farmers within the Sunkist cooperative

As Christina shares, Sunkist Ojai Pixie tangerines are also back in season, and the grower has vibrant new packaging and matching merchandising to engage shoppers. For a limited time only, the candy-like variety will be available at select retail locations nationwide in 1 lb, 2 lb, and 3 lb bags.

“Another fun addition to the 2023 season is the Sunkist California Star Ruby grapefruit,” adds Christina. “The red grapefruit has found its way into the hearts of new shoppers who are health-minded and fitness-focused.”

To boost sales for each of these premium citrus varieties, Sunkist’s shopper marketing programs include sampling, digital coupons, consumer-tested merchandising, nutrition education, and e-commerce support, in addition to high-graphic displays and secondary display options to promote citrus sales across other departments.

Cheers to the CA citrus season and this lucrative time frame for fresh produce departments!

Sunkist Growers



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Sunkist®

Sunkist is an agricultural cooperative entirely owned by and operated for the California and Arizona citrus growers who…