Domestic summer fruit like peaches, plums and nectarines may capture the supermarket spotlight at this time of year, but clementines and mandarins have built up such a following lately that most retailers see a consistent demand for the easy-peelers year-round.

That means it pays to promote and prominently display the fruit on a regular basis.

“Clementines are always in high demand, so it’s important for retailers to have ample supply of this citrus fruit year-round,” said Monique Bienvenue, director of communications for Bee Sweet Citrus Inc., Fowler, Calif.

Bee Sweet takes pride in providing mandarins and other citrus for consumers all year, she said, and its partnership with Chile allows the company to do just that.

“Clementines have become a staple in many households across America,” Bienvenue said, “so the demand from consumers is definitely there.”

Howard Nager, vice president, business development for Sun Pacific Shippers Inc., Pasadena, Calif., which markets the Cuties brand, said Cuties mandarins aren’t just a wintertime fruit.

“Retailers should look to continue to promote Cuties throughout the summer and keep the displays well stocked,” he said. “We offer merchandising bins to provide flexibility and options for display and impulse purchase in the store.”

“Summer offers unique opportunities for this refreshing, healthy snack,” he said, adding that Cuties are a great addition to any fruit salad, barbecue picnic or day at the beach.

The company offers a few best practices for merchandising Cuties:

  • Display Cuties in a prominent position in the produce section to drive impulse sales;
  • Use the company’s high-graphic displays and point-of-sale materials; and
  • Maximize sales by carrying both 3-pound bags and 5-pound bags or boxes.

Kim Flores, marketing director for Seald Sweet LLC, Vero Beach, Fla., also shared some merchandising tips:

  • Plan promotions, especially with bagged product;
  • Demo product during peak season when flavor is ideal; and
  • Take advantage of promotional funding when it’s available (ask Seald Sweet for details).

DNE World Fruit Sales, Fort Pierce Fla., a division of Delano, Calif.-based Wonderful Citrus, which markets Halos brand mandarins, keeps its retail customers informed about which weeks to target for promotions based on availability and fruit quality, said Matt Gordon, South American import team leader.

Bagged clementines are a winter supermarket staple, he said.

“During the summer months, when there are more fruit choices, we suggest that retailers also offer loose, larger clementines with (Price Look-Up numbers) to grow the category during the off season,” he said.

“Since Chilean clementines are available during the summer months, retailers can promote them as an easy, quick snack that travels well for all ages,” he said.