Packaging innovations, support for retail displays and marketing programs were among the contributors to a third straight year of $1 billion-plus total revenues reported by Sunkist Growers.
The Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based cooperative had its annual meeting Feb. 20. Payments to members totaled $840 million in 2012, up from $803 million the year before.
Sunkist’s 3- and 5-pound Giro bags appealing to convenience have resulted in volume sales to consumers, as have the pouch bags for new products like Lil Snappers and seasonally themed 10-pound cartons, according to a news release.
Members benefited in 2012 from a joint venture with juice processor Ventura Coastal.
“Developing (that) has resulted in better pricing and created efficiencies,” Sunkist chief executive officer Russell Hanlin said in the release.
Sunkist also launched an annual dividend program for growers, citing good returns and cost reductions across the business. The first distribution to growers is expected in March.
The company plans to broaden its line of consumer products.
“Our growers, including myself, are expanding production of newer varieties consumers favor because we know it will continue to improve our sales success for years to come,” Mark Gillette, president of affiliate Gillette Citrus Inc., said in the release.
Gillette was reelected chairman of the Sunkist board.
The meeting marked Sunkist’s 120th year in business. It was founded in 1893.