Holiday citrus sales prove nice gift for grower-shippers

11/11/2011 12:15:00 PM
Tom Burfield

While sales spike more significantly for Christmas, Susie Lacy, sales broker for Ideal Sales Inc., Dallas, said she also sees a boost in movement for Thanksgiving for oranges and grapefruit.

At Edinburg Citrus Association, holiday business is about equally divided between oranges and grapefruit, Shives said.

“You have gift fruit all around you,” he said, with many supermarkets advertising gift boxes.

Despite the holiday hoopla, sales actually peak at Healds Valley in January, Walsh said.

That may due in part to the fact that many consumers received a gift box for the holidays and have gotten into the habit of eating the fruit, so they buy more in the weeks and months following the holidays, he said.

Martin also attributes post-holiday demand to an increase in dieting after the holidays and to consumers who buy citrus during the cold season in January and February to get their intake of vitamin C.

Grapefruit consumption has changed, Walsh said.

The fruit used to be considered a breakfast item, but now, with more family members eating breakfast outside the home, he said, the industry needs to promote other uses for grapefruit, such as in salsa and margaritas or with a spinach salad.


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