Delano, Calif.-based Wonderful Citrus says it has taken a giant step forward with its recent acquisition of a major Florida grower-shipper.

In February Wonderful Citrus acquired Fort Pierce, Fla.-based citrus marketer DNE World Fruit, citrus exporter DNE International and the assets of World Pack Cold Storage, a division of DNE Imports.

Wonderful said the deal made it the top importer of counter-seasonal citrus products in the U.S. and doubled the company’s grapefruit supply. Along with DNE’s citrus marketing and import business, Wonderful acquired World Pack’s distribution center in New Jersey.

“What we hope it provides are partners year-round, expanded sales reach and access of new markets,” said Adam Cooper, vice president of marketing with Wonderful Citrus, which markets Halos mandarins in its full citrus line. “The integration has gone well, and we’re looking for continued success there.”

DNE’s “experience and presence within the counter-seasonal citrus space” has been a welcome addition to Wonderful Citrus, Cooper said.

“Volume this year surpassed last season’s combined DNE/Wonderful imports by more than 18%,” he said. “The addition of DNE has also delivered a broader product offering and greater diversity in sourcing options from more countries and growers.”

The addition of DNE has helped Wonderful maintain continuity of its product mix from season to season, Cooper said.

“DNE has a strong track record as a leader in counter-seasonal citrus and maintains a high-quality fruit standard through in-country representation in each sourcing country,” he said. “Quality starts at the source, and DNE has partnered with some of the best growers in each country.”

Wonderful Citrus anticipates the benefits of the acquisition to be more fully realized in the upcoming season, Cooper said.

“As we prepare for the start of the 2017-18 season, we anticipate our combined grapefruit and orange portfolios delivering value across the board,” he said. “After the acquisition was finalized, our primary goals for the remainder of the 2017 citrus season were having a strong finish to the Florida citrus season and growing the summer citrus program by expanding volume, customer base and product offering. We’re confident we have accomplished both.”