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Market Minute: Citrus season under way with clementines, Navels

By
Ron Pelger

citrus displayIn talking with California orange growers, the transition from Valencias to Navels has already begun — as well as plenty of good-quality imported clementines. There is still a light supply of imported Navel oranges arriving in Philadelphia ports.

California Navel Oranges: The crop is forecast at 15 percent higher than last season, but there is a bit of sunburned fruit that will be eliminated from the pack. Lack of rain and a limited access to groundwater has resulted in the smallest sized fruit in the last 20 years. Expect to see deals on 113s and 138s in three- and four-pound bags. There will be some 88s and there will be limited 72s and larger from here until the end of December. Size 38s and 56s will be sparse in availability.  Size will improve as we get into February and March when harvest begins for late Navel varieties.

Clementines: There will be plenty of good quality imported product available and in larger sizes. The new California crop will also start to be available — a great promotable item for weekly ads through the winter.

Merchandising
The best way to sell plenty of oranges — loose or in bags — is to place them in a good visual location, preferably at the entrance to the produce department. Set up a display using false bottoms to control overstocking shrink and to make it appear massive. Shoppers are attracted to larger displays and tend to buy larger amounts. Check with your suppliers for promotional deals.

Ron Pelger is a produce industry adviser and industry writer. He can be contacted at 775-843-2394 or by e-mail at [email protected].

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