California-based citrus marketing cooperative Sunkist Growers has said that it is now transitioning into summer citrus, as most winter citrus varieties wind down.
To celebrate the return of the summer season and Valencia oranges, the group has announced that it is launching a new campaign speaking to 'the all-American summer', the fruit's immune-boosting qualities, and juicing nostalgia.
In the past several weeks, oranges have been one of the top sellers in fresh produce in the US, Sunkist noted, while a recent consumer survey showed that the most important factor when buying citrus was the high vitamin C content.
“Consumers are always interested in keeping their immune systems strong, and citrus is one of the easiest ways to consume this powerful antioxidant," said Julie DeWolf, director of marketing operations at Sunkist Growers. “The research also divulged that consumers greatly prefer purchasing domestically grown products when they are available, so we have developed a ready-to-go marketing campaign to continue to support the citrus category and to keep the US-grown promotions going strong."
High in vitamin C, Valencia oranges are the only US-grown orange variety in the summertime, hence the Sunkist moniker 'The Official Orange of the American Summer.'
Grown in California, Sunkist Valencia oranges are available now through October, and will peak in availability in July.
"More and more, consumers want to know about the health benefits of what they’re eating," said Christina Ward, director of global brand marketing at Sunkist Growers. "Through our social media promotions and digital events, we’re bringing nutrition and wellness information to shoppers everywhere.
"From our virtual 'Facts from the Grove' series, where our California and Arizona citrus growers answer frequently asked questions, to our easy at-home recipes, we’re squeezing the most out of summer citrus season," Ward added.
While the 127-year-old agricultural cooperative offers US-grown grapefruit and lemons year-round, the California Star Ruby grapefruit is only available through July, and the Marsh Ruby variety will be available through October.
Lemon and grapefruit volumes are up this season, supporting the increase in demand for citrus.