Limoneira's Alex Teague and John Chamberlain Discuss Holiday Promotions, Varieties, and Challenges
SANTA PAULA, CA - When it comes to citrus, the versatility of the fruit is about as limited as the imagination. Endless. With the California citrus season underway, Limoneira’s Senior Vice President, Alex Teague, joins me to discuss the status of the season and what’s in store for the citrus powerhouse.
“Crop sizing looks good and the quality is getting better. But, we also have the December through February weather conditions that always keep us on our toes and cautious as we look towards quality,” Alex tells me.
This year, Limoneira is harvesting Eureka lemons as well as Lisbons, Meyers, Pink Lemons and Seedless lemons from areas that range from Northern California and the Central Coast, to the California Desert, Arizona, and Chile.
“We also have partnerships and supply lemons from Mexico, Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa,” he adds.
For the Golden State, the company will be harvesting in Northern California from November to March and the California Central Coast from March to August.
When I ask Alex what the challenges are this year and how are the company is addressing them, he tells me, “The drought is definitely an issue and lack of water has been affecting sizing. We have put comprehensive water management practices in place and continue to drive efficiencies with our water. The two largest, long-term challenges are labor and pests. Lack of labor is hurting significantly the ability to harvest on a timely basis. Pests such as ACP have more than doubled our costs of pest control.”
As for volume, crop sizing looks good for Limoneira.
To inspire consumers this year, Limoneira is promoting its Lemons for Life™ new marketing campaign. Consumers around the world have embraced all things lemon over the past several years, and Limoneira’s new campaign highlights a number of growing trends.
“Shoppers are increasingly looking for healthy alternatives in grocery aisles and Limoneia’s Lemons for Life™ spokesperson Megan Rooseveltof Healthy Grocery Girl® shares the many ways that Limoneira lemons can be used by consumers,” says John Chamberlain, Limoneira’s Director of Marketing.
Lemons for Life™ offers great tasting, healthy recipes, along with less obvious things that consumers can do with lemons. People have embraced lemons’ green cleaning abilities, and they’re very useful in beauty and lifestyle applications.
“People are also very interested in the Zero Waste movement,” he notes, “And Lemons for Life™ demonstrates how lemons can play a role.”
Communication efforts also highlight Limoneira’s 122 years of sustainability (farm worker housing, integrated pest management, water management, green waste recycling and solar) and link with the company’s foodservice and grocery retail sustainability practices. A comprehensive year-round calendar of Lemons for Life™ social marketing and merchandising options is available for Limoneira’s customers to help them build category sales and encourage guests to visit their locations, as well. Additionally, a global network of experts in health, recipes, beauty, green cleaning and lifestyle will be offering tips on how lemons can be incorporated into everyday lives.
So what does John expect as we move further into the holiday season?
This holiday season, Limoneira lemon retail bags are featuring drink recipes, for cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks, from Limoneira’s global mixologists along with Megan Roosevelt, Healthy Grocery Girl®, he notes.
“I love these drinks for the holidays,” says Megan. “They fun and festive and the lemons add zip for this cheerful season.”
These recipe inserts will be placed in Limoneira lemon net retail bags.
Stay tuned as the citrus season ramps up here in California!