Suntreat Packing and Shipping Co., Lindsay, Calif., has introduced Suntreat Reserve Citrus, a line of limited, seasonal citrus varieties.
What differentiates these varieties are the superior consumer and retailer attributes, said Al Imbimbo, vice president of sales and marketing.
“We all know times are changing, and people are actually for fruit that eats good,” he said. “It’s something that our farmers and growers would go out and pick to eat themselves.”
For the retailer, the reserve line offers opportunities for repeat customers, he said.
The first offering is Gold Nugget, a medium-sized, easy-to-peel mandarin that is harvested from April through May.
Following it will be Oro Blanc×¡ pummelo/white grapefruit hybrid, seedless lemons and a high-end navel.
Sumo Citrus, a large, easy-to-peel mandarin-orange hybrid available from February through May, also will join the reserve line.
Imbimbo admitted that introducing the Sumo two years ago was a challenge because it was “very cosmetically challenged.”
“One of the biggest challenges I knew was going to be getting people past the appearance, and once we had them taste it, it would be fine,” Imbimbo said.
Retail sampling programs and other in-store promotions helped introduce consumers to the Sumo.
Because the reserve program was announced April 9, he said Suntreat was still finalizing the details of retail promotional and point-of-sale materials.