South African citrus kicked off its summer U.S. imports July 3 with the refrigerated vessel Nagato Reefer delivering about 245,000 cartons of clementines, navels and cara caras to Philadelphia’s Holt Terminal in Gloucester City, N.J.
Also on board: King Citrus — South Africa summer citrus’ new lion mascot, according to the release.
“King Citrus is key to our branding initiative,” Suhanra Conradie, CEO of the Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum, said in the release. “South Africa Summer Citrus’ logo has long included unique elements to South Africa — the lion being the most prominent. King Citrus is a visual extension of our tagline: Pride of Our Land.”
Promotional plans call for King Citrus to visit various U.S. cities, including Philadelphia’s Independence Hall on the Fourth of July, with stops in New York and Washington, D.C., and various supermarkets, according to the release.
Other promotions will focus on recipes incoporating citrus at www.summercitrus.com.
“This year our recipes incorporate citrus into popular regionalized recipes such as a delicious citrus lobster salad, citrus marinated flank steak, roasted pork tenderloin with orange clove glaze, spa salad with orange vanilla vinaigrette and cuke, clem and avo salad with orange sesame dressing, among others,” Conradie said in release.
Vessels are scheduled to arrive every 10-12 days until the season wraps up in the fall.
Some early season citrus, including Star Ruby grapefruit, arrived in June in containers.
The ship’s arrival marks the 14th season of shipments of South African citrus to the U.S., the release said.
Last year, South Africa’s U.S. citrus exports exceeded 41,000 tons.