Supermarket Perimeter - November 2020 - 43

IN THE COVID ERA, shoppers are stocking up when they go to the
grocery store. They're also looking for foods with health benefits that
could help them stave off illness in general. And, increasingly, they still
want "fresh."
Fresh citrus - hardy and full of Vitamin C - checks all three boxes.
And California citrus shippers and industry officials said there will be
plenty of fruit in a wide selection of varieties this season to meet that
surging demand.
Los Angeles-based The Wonderful Co. began shipping its Halos brand
California mandarins in November. Wonderful will support Halos sales
this season with a targeted multi-million dollar marketing campaign,
including a social media campaign, instore POS displays, and a new
collection of colorful stickers, said Adam Cooper, the company's senior
vice president of marketing.
Wonderful will also continue its "Grove of Goodness" display program
for a fourth year. The program features eye-catching Halos Grove Tree
and Fruit Stand displays that drive velocities 18% faster than product
featured without a display, Cooper said.
Even without those marketing boosts, Wonderful expects strong
movement thanks to COVID.
"As people are eating at home more often and also looking for
functional benefits from their food, we expect increased demand for
Halos as they're the perfect healthy snack for both kids and adults and
also an excellent source of vitamin C," Cooper said. "One serving of
Halos - two medium mandarins - contains 50% of the recommended
daily value of vitamin C."

Old favorites new varietals

SUNKIST, WONDERFUL

Valencia, Calif.-based Sunkist Growers began shipping navels and
Sunkist Delite branded mandarins in November. Cara Cara navels and
blood oranges were expected to follow in December. Easy-to-peel
and super-sweet Gold Nuggets are set for their usual February release.
Sunkist ships lemons and grapefruit all year long.
Christina Ward, Sunkist's director of communications, said the
cooperative would also have a full
lineup of specialty varieties this season,
including sweet-tart pummelos, Texas Rio
Star grapefruit, Minneola tangelos, royal
mandarin and Fairchild and Ojai pixie
tangerines. Sunkist also offers a full lineup
of organic citrus.
Ward expects continued high demand
as the California citrus deals kick in. And
fortunately, there should be enough from
the Golden State to meet it.
"As consumers continue to cook at
home more, it's translating into strong
sales at retail," she said. "We're looking at a
large crop volume to meet the increased
consumer demand for all things vitamin C."
With nearly half of consumers eating
over 90% of their meals at home, cooking
fatigue becomes a significant factor in
consumers looking for healthy products

and new recipe inspiration online, Ward
added. Lemon sales have seen a
31% increase at retail versus a year
ago, and Sunkist is expanding its
nutrition education program to
inspire consumers with accessible,
at-home recipe ideas through
dishes, drinks, and décor to drive
consumption.
According to IRI data, the
citrus category across all
varieties has seen steady demand
increases, with a 20% growth versus a
year ago. Nationwide, orange sales have seen a 37% increase; lemons
have seen a 19% growth, and grapefruit is seeing a 12% increase versus
a year ago.
Consumers also continue to be focused on the health benefits and
"shelf-ability" of the foods they're buying, Ward said.

Online sales: the brand advantage
Wonderful anticipates a continuation of the consumer purchasing
patterns established during the first months of the pandemic, with
basket sizes larger as people continue eat more meals and snacks
at home.
Another COVID-related impact that helps well-known brands like
Halos is the increase in digital grocery sales, Cooper said.
"Online grocery is growing at a record pace, meaning branded
produce will become even more sought after as consumers shop online
for quality citrus products they can count on," he said. "Consumers
know that when they purchase Halos online, they'll receive the highest
quality product."
Wonderful's quality standard for Halos has strict taste and quality
specifications that lead to customers rating Halos 18% higher overall
than generic brands on Amazon, Cooper added. The company expects

supermarketperimeter.com

With homebound
consumers starved for new
things to eat, Sunkist has
upped its recipe game.

NOVEMBER 2020 - 43


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Supermarket Perimeter - November 2020

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