SA citrus to drive healthy Halloween in the U.S. -

SA citrus to drive healthy Halloween in the U.S.

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SA citrus to drive healthy Halloween in the U.S.

They may not be pumpkins but they are the right color at least - South African Midknight oranges are set for a Halloween promotions drive this weekend at Kings Super Markets in New Jersey.

The marketing effort follows the Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum's (WCCPF) active in-store promotions campaign this year on the U.S. East Coast, according to spokesperson Lisa Packer.

Packer has told the group's campaigns covered retailers like Whole Foods, Acme and Myers Grocery, but the Kings deal is a bit different.

"We really like this one as we’re going for a more nutritious treat with Halloween.  It’s a big deal with kids here in the United States collecting pounds and pounds of candy, which is a good treat but it’s not necessarily good for them," she says.

"The other thing we've done is bring a grower representative from South Africa to the stores – it puts a face to the name. What we’ve found with retailers is that produce departments prefer fewer bits of paper and cardboard lying around. A little brochure is great in a pinch, but the opportunity to meet someone in person beats it hands down."

WCCPF CEO Suhanra Conradie says the eleventh vessel for the season was due to arrive on Sunday with fruit expected on the market this week, while Midknight oranges from the final container vessel will likely hit the shelves early next week.

"Things are still going really well. Our last conventional vessel arrived last Sunday (Oct. 16) and the discharge finished on Monday (Oct.17) - a group of importers requested that the fruit could be available early so we did that, and 99% of the vessel was Midknight oranges," she told

"There is some domestic product in production in the U.S. but we still find a market for the Midknights. It’s got a lovely orange color, it’s a very sweet orange.

"They are a Valencia orange; a bit small but a good eating orange and importers have been very happy with the quality."

Conradie cannot reveal exact estimates for the season, but expects orange shipments will definitely total more than 2 million cartons between the Navel and Midknight varieties.

Photos: WCCPF

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