Luke Sears of LGS Specialty Sales Talks Citrus Season
NEW ROCHELLE, NY - The dog days of summer are upon us, and with them, the desire for refreshing fruit to quench our thirst.
I caught up with Luke Sears, President and Founder of LGS Specialty Sales, to find out about the company’s current citrus season and how the rebranded citrus program is shaping up for the rest of the year.
“This is our first summer season with the Darling rebrand, and we are excited to add Darling Lemons to the mix,” Luke tells me. “We are also continuing to increase production in Chile. From a marketing perspective, we’re also expanding our digital assets and resources with new content on our website, a blog that we will launch in August, and an expanded social media and PR strategy that will ultimately drive in-store purchases of the Darling Citrus line.”
With multiple assets behind its citrus program, LGS also has the goods to back it up. Its summer citrus season is in full swing, with a strong supply in clementines and navels. Luke reports to me that he anticipates a 10-15% increase in clementines, a 30-35% increase in W. Murcotts, and a 15-20% increase in navels.
“We are seeing an overall demand for easy peelers continue to increase and are responding to this through our marketing efforts by being a go-to resource for people who are looking for ways to snack and cook with Darling Clementines,” Luke explains to me. “With our vertical production and longstanding grower relationships, there is a Darling spec for all of our citrus that we require from our partners and that our customers and their shoppers can count on.”
How can retailers continue to get in on the citrus action? Not only are lemons and oranges infinitely marketable throughout the summer—who doesn’t love a lemonade-inspired cocktail?—they’re also a steady source of back-to-school snacking inspo.
“With ample supply and great eating characteristics, we also encourage retailers to focus on mandarins for back to school ads,” Luke says. “And with the addition of Darling Lemons to our citrus lineup, and good mandarin and navel volume available for promotions in September and October, we’re excited about our citrus lineup as we continue to look to add value to our customers.”
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