( Courtesy Chiliean Fresh Fruit Association )

The Chilean Citrus Commitee has moved the bulk of its consumer and trade marketing campaigns online this summer, during the COVID-19 pandemic

“As the country continues to open up, retail promotion formats will also continue to evolve,” said Karen Brux, managing director of the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, in a news release. “We envision primarily online programs, like digital coupons or online cooking classes, but as in-store opportunities increase, our merchandisers in the U.S. and Canada will be ready to support these programs.”

Citrus is seeing heavy consumer demand, as its immunity-boosting properties spur interest during the pandemic, according to the fruit association. 

“We’ll give this an extra push through social media outreach and online contests during the Chilean citrus season,” Brux said in the release.

The association has more than 500,000 Facebook fans, and 20,000 subscribers to its Fruits from Chile newsletter, according to the release.

“These will be two key vehicles in communicating healthy, family-friendly ideas for using Chilean citrus throughout the day, whether easy peelers, lemons or navels,” Brux said in the release.

The Chilean citrus industry expects to export about 347,000 in all categories, an increase of about 4% from last season. Mandarins and clementines will drive most of that growth, according to the release, with navels slightly below the 2019 season, and lemons about the same.

North America is the leading market for Chile’s citrus exports.

Clementine volumes are ahead of last year, and harvest is in the Coquimbo and Valparaiso regions, with the O’Higgins region just starting.

“This season’s weather and growing conditions have been ideal for growing sweet fruit with good sizing,” Juan Enrique Ortuzar, president of the Chilean Citrus Committee, said in the release. “Cool fall nights have given the clementines a brilliant orange color and very good Brix.” 

Promotable volumes of easy peelers will be available through October. 

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