Madala has noticed a change in the public’s perception of citrus imports at Jensen’s.
“Years back, shoppers were hesitant to buy imported citrus,” he said.
Now, it’s much more accepted, especially when it’s sampled.
“Customers sometimes ask for it by name,” he said, inquiring, for example, when the Australian navels will arrive.
Madala said point-of-sale material to call attention to summer citrus often is available from suppliers as well as from trade association websites.
B&R Stores sources summer citrus from several countries. Navels outsell valencias 5-to-1 during the summer at B&R Stores.
“(Imported navels) have really slowed down our valencia offerings considerably,” he said. “Valencias used to be our big push in the summertime, now they’re a small portion of our promotions and sales.”
Bohaty said his customers usually have no qualms about buying imported summer citrus.
“I don’t think people think of Australia, South Africa or Chile with any negative connotation,” he said.