Strong promotable volumes for Satsuma season
Favorable late spring weather and more groves reaching maturity have contributed to a heavy set of great-looking fruit as the 2022 Satsuma season gets closer. "The trees are heavy with beautiful, uniform fruit," said Kim Jones, owner of Florida Georgia Citrus and current president of Cold Hardy Citrus Association. "We anticipate a record Satsuma crop for 2022."
The Sweet Valley Citrus region spans a tri-state zone throughout north Florida, south Alabama and south Georgia. These growing areas share unique soil and weather that make Sweet Valley Citrus so special. Grown on local family farms, tree-ripened and shipped daily from farmer-owned packing facilities, Sweet Valley Citrus includes Satsumas marketed under grower brands such as Southern Sassies, Southern Juicys and Cherokee Jewel.
Satsuma production has increased in the Sweet Valley region from less than 1 million pounds produced by 15 growers in 2014 to 12 million pounds and more than 150 growers in 2021. Production is anticipated to continue increasing over the upcoming years due to new plantings already in the ground that should push production to over 100 million pounds by 2027.
With convenient, Southeast locations along major interstate highways, Sweet Valley Citrus growers and packinghouses have been less affected by supply chain issues, and suppliers from the Sweet Valley region offer fast shipping of fresh citrus to locations east of the Mississippi. Compared to West Coast and imported citrus, this reduced shipping time can extend shelf life from a few days to several weeks and ensures customers and consumers receive the best-tasting fruit when it is ready to eat.
Citrus from the Sweet Valley region is especially flavorful, with excellent Brix and Brix-acid ratio scores providing the extra sweet flavor from a fruit with a naturally low caloric density. "Easy-to-peel Satsumas are a special fruit with a delicious flavor profile and limited season, which makes them ideal for retailers and consumers looking for something local and extraordinary," said Mack Glass of Cherokee Satsumas, "We’ll begin shipping in early November, with full production available from mid-November to mid-January."
Sweet Valley Citrus has also recently launched a new website, sweetvalleycitrus.com, full of information for retailers, foodservice buyers and consumers. "The new website helps expand the allure of Sweet Valley Citrus, especially Satsumas, and will generate demand for the special fruit that grows there," said Karen Nardozza, president and CEO of Moxxy, the marketing agency that created the Sweet Valley brand, website and other marketing materials to promote the region.
In addition to explaining what makes Sweet Valley Citrus unique and special, the website also helps retail and foodservice buyers connect with growers and packers, and provides detailed information on seasonality, varieties, nutrition, selection and storage.
"While the website is primarily intended to inform retail and foodservice buyers, it’s also important to support sales and consumption with consumer education and inspiration to maximize success of the fruit in all channels," said Nardozza. "One way the marketing accomplishes that is with 20 delicious recipes and videos, spanning breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and beverage consumption occasions, to demonstrate how Satsumas are much more versatile than just a quick, healthy snack. The recipes will be shared on Sweet Valley’s social channels throughout the season."
In addition to Satsuma mandarins, Sweet Valley Citrus is also known for its extraordinary Shiranui mandarins, Cara Cara navel oranges, grapefruit, Kishu mandarins, Tango tangerines and lemons.