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According to recent IRI Worldwide data, mandarins lead all citrus categories in dollar sales at retail and are up 17.3 percent in sales, representing almost 37 percent of all citrus sales for the past year. Mandarins also lead in pound sales, up just over 19 percent.
“These small, easy-peeling fruits continue to grow in popularity with consumers because of their convenience and nutritious punch,” explains Joan Wickham, manager of advertising and public relations for Sunkist, in Sherman Oaks, Calif. “The rise in popularity of mandarins follows along with consumer demand for healthy, convenient snacks.”
Sunkist offers Satsuma, Clementine, Royal, W. Murcott and Gold Nugget mandarin varieties from late October through June with multiple packaging options, including the Sunkist Smiles brand.
“More and more consumers are becoming smart snackers and reaching for healthier options like fresh produce,” notes Adam Cooper, VP of marketing for Wonderful Citrus.
The Wonderful Co., in Los Angeles, occupies the category leader spot with Wonderful Halos, a sweet, seedless and easy-to-peel mandarin. In the largest marketing campaign in U.S. citrus history, Wonderful Halos is spending $100 million on marketing over the course of the campaign’s first five years.
“Healthy snacking is a core value of our company,” says Cooper, adding that the Wonderful Co. is committed to teaching America’s youth healthy habits at an early age.
“In 2015, we donated $100,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of America to support healthy programming that provides opportunities for club kids to get active and educate themselves to make smart choices that impact their health, like snacking,” he explains. “We are looking to continue our efforts in this space and will share more details in the coming months.”