The fruit is set to arrive in stores on the East Coast (and all of the U.S.) starting in mid-November, Scott Owens, vice president of sales and marketing for Paramount Citrus Association, said during Produce Marketing Association's Fresh Summit 2011.
Expansion markets include New York, Atlanta, Boston and Philadelphia, among others, and represent a 15% to 20% increase in the Cuties crop this year, he said.
A $20 million “Cuties are made for Kids” marketing campaign will support the effort, which includes a television and print advertising as well as retail displays.
The campaign will debut on Dec. 5, Owen said. It will feature four 15-second spots that will run in conjunction with shows such as “The Biggest Loser,” ”Community,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “How I Met Your Mother” and “Amazing Race” among others, he said.
They will feature children peeling Cuties and will highlight the fruits appeal to kids: sweet taste, easy to peel, small size and no seeds.
The campaign will offer three FSIs and a two-page advertising spread in People magazine.
The TV ads will run again in February and March, Owens said.
Delano-based Paramount is part of the California Cutie Cooperative (along with Sun Pacific and Fowler Packing) that grows, packs and markets the fruit.
Paramount also is entering the lime market, Owens said, farming and packing from 5,000 acres in Mexico’s Tabasco region.
The company also has 2,000 combined acres of lime and lemon production near Victoria, Mexico, he said. The limes will be available throughout the U.S. and Canada, entering the U.S. through Paramount’s 50,000-square-foot McAllen, Texas, cooling facility, which the company acquired from Border Cold Storage in last summer.