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As the first shipments of navel oranges from Chile hit U.S. markets on both coasts, the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA) is rolling out a media campaign to build consumer awareness for its newest addition to the summer citrus lineup. Navel oranges are joining the highly successful Clementine deal, now in its third year, and the first grapefruits are slated to make their debut this September. Rounding out Chile’s citrus offering are lemons and mandarins.
As domestic citrus supplies decline, citrus fruits from Chile are enabling produce managers and chefs to provide snacking, salad, drink, dessert and marinade options for consumers, according to the Sonoma, Calif.-based group.
To promote the fruits, CFFA is working with grocers and food personalities across the Unites States on TV and in-store video segments featuring navel oranges. The organization has also come up with easy recipes and usage ideas for summer citrus.
“Navel oranges are not new to consumers, and while traditionally thought of as a winter fruit, [they are] a natural for healthful summer meals and as a refreshing snack,” noted CFFA managing director Tom Tjerandsen.
Chilean growers are shipping fruit with high Brix (sweetness) levels that appeal to U.S. buyers. According to early estimates, Chile will ship between 600,000 and 800,000 cartons of navel oranges to the United States, with total exports pegged to surpass 40,000 tons. Throughout the season, Chile will be shipping 15-kilogram boxes of navel oranges sized 40 to 88, including the popular 56-, 48- and 40-sized fruit.