Venlo Beach-based IMG Citrus has announced the launch of Yellos, a new Florida grapefruit brand and specialty product.
According to IMG, Yellos are being positioned as Florida’s "best-kept secret", with the fruit boasting a consistently sweet taste and offering "a unique experience for the consumer".
"With limited availability during the winter months of November through April, Yellos is an opportunity to invigorate the citrus aisle across the US market in a convenient grab-and-go two-pack," the group stated.
Although considered a new product on the US market, the Yellos grapefruit variety is in fact Florida’s original, heirloom grapefruit, and the white-fleshed counterpart of the well-known Florida Ruby Red grapefruit.
Yellos are harvested from mature groves over 25 years of age, primarily located in Florida’s Indian River region.
IMG explained that the profile of these groves allowed Yellos to boast a consistent and uniquely sweet taste.
Moreover, to ensure premium taste, Yellos are marketed as a limited harvest product with availability only from November through April, during the peak season of Florida citrus.
Unlike red grapefruit, white grapefruit exhibits a unique, golden-yellow hue on both the outside and inside of the fruit, which helped inspire the new Yellos brand name.
"Through both colour and taste, Yellos evokes Florida’s sunshine, bringing consumers on a tropical getaway filled with warm breezes and sandy shores during the chilly winter season," IMG outlined. "With consumer trends supporting the desire for heirloom and unique varieties with high taste profiles, Yellos is positioned as an attractive choice for this winter season."
Florida’s white grapefruit has traditionally been sold to export markets, notably to Japan, where the white-fleshed grapefruit is favoured over the red-fleshed and collects a premium price.
“To us, it makes sense to shift our marketing towards the US market, where the Florida grapefruit brand-name is strong, and where consumers are looking for unique experiences while also connecting with local farming and heritage,” said Sydney Allison, director of sales at IMG Citrus.
The group said that it also saw an opportunity to reduce food miles, a sustainability goal it has in common with its US retailer clients.
In 2019, a grove acquisition made by IMG Citrus substantially increased its share of white grapefruit, consolidating its position as the leading fresh Florida grower.
"This control of the supply gives IMG Citrus a unique opportunity to re-introduce white grapefruit to the US market with the confidence to consistently feed US retailer programmes," the company said.
IMG Citrus, known as the leading grower and marketer of Florida grapefruit, controls over 70 per cent of Florida’s fresh grapefruit production.