Pro Citrus Network, Visalia, Calif., has a new brand of seedless red mandarins, the MandaRosa.
MandaRosa is a natural cultivar of a Tarocco (blood) orange and clementine, known as the MandaRed variety, according to a news release. Pro Citrus Network exclusively markets the variety in the U.S., through an agreement with U.S. breeders who propagated MandaReds in collaboration with the Citrus Breeding Institute in Italy, where the variety originated.
Kim Flores, vice president of business development and marketing at Pro Citrus Network, said the growers approached Pro Citrus Network last year to exclusively market the variety. The company used consumer feedback before choosing the name, she said.
MandaRosas are available from February through early March, in bulk two-layer trays and 2-pound reduced-plastic bags, 15 to a case. Supply peaks in mid-February, making it ideal for Valentine’s Day promotions, Flores said.
It’s the first patented pigmented seedless mandarin. Flores said retailers receiving the fruit are throughout the U.S.
“This is a beautiful, one-of-a-kind mandarin variety,” Flores said in the release. “We are super excited to welcome MandaRosa to our specialty citrus family.”
Flores said specialty citrus is an important offering at Pro Citrus Network, so the variety is a natural fit “especially as the mandarin category evolves and varieties with superior flavor profiles become increasingly important.”
The flavor and internal colors of the fruit change as the fruit matures, with some having red/purple pigment and others red/orange.
Christine Raymer, vice president of sales, said the company has worked closely with the California grower in developing the MandaRosa program.
Shipments to retailers began in late January.
“We’ve had a lot of excitement with the team in launching this new variety and have received good, positive feedback on samples we’ve sent to some of our top customers,” Raymer said in the release.
Flores said the 2-pound bags use kraft paper for labels, instead of the more commonly used plastic.