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Sunkist launches Matchmakers culinary challenge ahead of National Sunkist Citrus Day

Brace yourselves, citrus fans, the second annual National Sunkist Citrus Day is coming up on March 1, and the longest-standing fresh citrus cooperative is celebrating every bite with a culinary challenge and multi-variety display contest.  

sThis winter, Sunkist Growers is not just bringing the sunshine to consumers' tables, it's making California-grown citrus the star through a game show-inspired digital series, Sunkist Matchmakers. With consumers looking to creatively elevate their at-home meals, Sunkist is also revamping its website with a custom landing page that's both informative and interactive. Explore the Matchmaker feature, where shoppers can pair a Sunkist varietal with a surprise ingredient, sparking real-time recipe ideas that will have citrus fans rushing to their kitchens.

“Many shoppers see citrus as a stand-alone snack, juice or simple garnish, limiting the potential ways to enjoy the fruit’s unique and refreshing flavors,” said Cassie Howard, senior director of category management and marketing at Sunkist Growers Inc. “We want to shift the perception of citrus as a one-dimensional ingredient and showcase its remarkable ability to complement and transform a wide range of meals and occasions throughout significant shopper milestones.”

Sunkist has teamed up with food and lifestyle influencers to craft jaw-dropping dishes and eye-catching crafts, all starring a wide array of in-season citrus varietals. And for an extra twist of excitement, Sunkist is throwing in a mystery ingredient to prove that the most unexpected pairings can create the most spectacular results. Episode one, titled Kid’s Party will be airing on @SunkistCitrus on Instagram and TikTok this Thursday, Feb. 22, with the remaining episodes Date Night and Meatless Mondays of the three-part series running through April.  

In addition, Sunkist is collaborating with retailers to generate in-store excitement for National Sunkist Citrus Day. As March 1 approaches, the company invites retailers to participate in a multi-variety display contest that will pique consumer interest and help drive sales.   

“According to Circana, season-to-date citrus is trending ahead of last year, outpacing total produce and total fruit,” said Howard. “We want to build on that momentum, working with our retail partners to put together relevant bag programs and strategic bulk displays to continue growing the category this season.”  

Sunkist in-season citrus offerings during the winter months extend to both conventional and organic Navels, Caras, Bloods, lemons, tangelos, California mandarins and grapefruit. Displays can more than double sales, and Sunkist’s new grove bin wraps and classic blue quarter bins are a perfect solution for large bulk fruit offerings this season.  

“Shoppers say the most useful information in-stores is knowing where citrus is grown and packed,” said Howard. “We also have new grower bin headers that allow shoppers to meet the people behind the hard work that goes into growing the citrus they see in-stores.”

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