( Courtesy IMG Citrus )

IMG Citrus, Vero Beach, Fla., is marketing white grapefruit in the U.S. as a return to the original heirloom Florida grapefruit.

The Happy Food brand white grapefruit, marketed with the “be healthy, be happy” slogan, will be available in promotable volumes and various sizes, according to a news release. The fruit will also be released as a specialty item in Europe.

Florida is the only state with commercial white grapefruit production, according to the release, but most is exported to Japan, leaving red grapefruit as the predominant variety in U.S. stores. The IMG Citrus white grapefruit will be grown on trees more than 25 years old in the Indian River region, a vital factor in the “sweet and tasty” flavor, according to the company.

“When red and white grapefruit are displayed next to each other, they complement each other nicely,” Michel Salin, IMG Citrus president, said in the release. “This type of display is very common with Japanese retailers.”

The company’s recent purchase of the 4,000-acre Emerald Grove (now known as Happy Food Grove) in St. Lucie County made the white grapefruit marketing campaign possible. IMG Citrus produces about half of the white grapefruit in Florida, according to the release.

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