It’s a Hit! Sunkist’s New Jarred Fruit Line Makes its Debut


October 22, 2007

Houston, TX (October 1, 2007) – Repeat orders are already coming in for the new line of refrigerated jarred fruit launched in late September by Sunkist Growers and Old World Enterprise Group, LLC. With a focus on freshness, Sunkist Premium Sweet is packed in 100% juice, so it’s naturally healthy and delicious.

Sunkist Premium Sweet is manufactured by the ‘Better for You’ Food Division of World Enterprise Group under license from Sunkist Growers. It is sold exclusively in chilled cases in the produce section of grocery, convenience and club stores. The entire line is refrigerated all the way to the grocer’s produce section to ensure the highest level of freshness and taste.

“Sunkist is the leader in fresh citrus,” said Sunkist President and CEO Tim Lindgren, “and our partnership with Old World is a natural one. The new line of packaged fruit is a delicious, convenient complement to our fresh citrus. The Sunkist Premium Sweet jarred fruit line offers eight fruit varieties including a new and exclusive Valencia Orange.

Sales of the new product line are managed by the Sunkist fresh produce sales organization. “We expect to increase category penetration by offering consumer television advertising, along with retail promotions, couponing and cross promotion with other Sunkist products,” noted Richard Sanderson, President of Old World Enterprise Group.

The new Sunkist line offers consumers a better-for-you product, with more natural taste. “Our new Sunkist Premium Sweet is an excellent source of Vitamin C and antioxidants from Vitamin C,” said Sanderson. “And the convenience of both 8-ounce cups and 24-ounce jars make it easy for consumers to feel good about eating healthy.”

Both companies are pleased with how well the new line tested with consumers. In concept testing, consumers played back the attributes and strength of the Sunkist brand known for “freshness” and “health.” There was also the strong appeal of the “natural, packed in juice” formula and consumers preferred the clear packaging which “shows more of the real fruit.” The product testing, which resulted in consumer preference for all the Sunkist Premium Sweet fruit varieties is confirmed by the excellent reception the product has received since its launch.

Category Research and Usage and Attitude studies showed that consumers use refrigerated jarred fruit for snacks through the day and at every meal. It is primarily purchased by adult female homemakers, aged 35+. “This is truly an all-day, 24-hour, great tasting snack and complement to any meal, providing families with one of the essentials to everyday nutrition,” said Sanderson. “It’s a perfect fit with consumer life today and the want for fresher, healthy options.”

John McGuigan, vice president of Sunkist sales, noted, “We expect that our entry will have a stimulating effect on the produce category, with overall sales growing as a result of giving consumers a choice. We plan to deliver category-management leadership to our trade partners by expanding the category with this exciting new product line.”

IRI (Information Resources, Inc.) indicates annual sales of the refrigerated fruit category are approximately $84MM (not including Wal-Mart, club stores, convenience stores, or other non-grocery outlets.) Of significance, the 8-ounce cup segment is growing at double-digit levels. “Based on our research, we believe the category will grow in total a minimum of 15%,” said Sanderson.

Besides Valencia Oranges, the Sunkist Premium Sweet line will include Red Grapefruit, Petite Peaches, Pineapples, Mandarin Oranges, Citrus Salad, Tropical Fruit, and Mixed Fruit…and new varieties will be added.

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