Education, huge displays mark 10th anniversary of Sumo Citrus
Sumo Citrus has marked its 10th anniversary in commercial production with in-store promotions and extravagant displays of the enormous and crowd pleasing citrus. Exceptionally sweet, Sumo Citrus is a hybrid of several citrus varieties, notably Navel, Pomelo and Mandarin, with the Sumo Citrus brand specifically marked by its remarkable size and easy to peel skin.
“Sumo Citrus is an enormous, easy to peel, super sweet and seedless mandarin,” said Emma Koehler of AC Foods. “These special mandarins are notoriously difficult to grow, but our team of expert growers have been perfecting these for the past 20 years.” Originally developed in Japan in the 70s, the seedless varietal was dubbed “dekopon,” which hints at the bump or topknot found at the peduncle end of the fruit.
The first seedlings were imported to the United States in 1998; however, growing Sumo Citrus is a challenging endeavor and required many years of refinement. Fortunately, a cadre of dedicated growers in California’s San Joaquin Valley were up to the task and the first commercial shipments began in 2011.
“This year officially marks the 10th season of Sumo Citrus in the market,” Koehler continued. “Our vibrant purple boxes help to set Sumo Citrus apart from the sea of orange in the citrus section. We encourage our customers to utilize these boxes to build out eye-catching displays in high-traffic areas, such as the front of the store, to draw consumers to this unique piece of fruit.”
The season kicks off in the heart of the winter when, for consumers, health is top of mind. Stocking up on immunity boosting foods is especially important during these colder months and Sumo Citrus contains about 163 percent of Vitamin C, an immunity-boosting nutrient, making it the perfect winter snack.
“This year we developed a platform focused on educating store level employees about Sumo Citrus,” said Koehler, when speaking about the all-new Sumo Citrus website. “The site is made to be interactive, so team members can watch videos, and take quizzes to become Sumo Citrus experts and receive a swag pack.” Produce teams are also able to submit their displays into a monthly display contest, which offers a chance to win Amazon gift cards and additional Sumo swag.
The management team at Sprouts in particular, wanted to launch the Sumo Citrus season in a big way. “We worked with Sprouts to support larger than life display contests at 12 of their stores across the country,” said Koehler. “We supported this effort with Sumo Citrus swag for their teams and the locations were able to enter for a chance to win prizes for the best display.”
Koehler expressed gratitude for the strong support Sumo Citrus has seen from retail partners this season and excitement for the continued growth of the brand. She recommended visiting sumocitrus.com to learn more about the Sumo Citrus brand.