Sunkist Growers Announces Profitable Year at Annual Meeting

February 24, 2014, Sherman Oaks, CA — Sunkist Growers announced another billion-dollar revenue year in 2013 at the cooperative’s annual meeting on February 19. This marks the fourth consecutive billion-dollar year for Sunkist, with grower payments totaling $873 million compared to $838 million in 2012.

“Over the past year, we have made significant advances on key strategic initiatives to position Sunkist for long-term growth and profitability,” said Sunkist President and CEO Russell Hanlin. “Acreage increases, the launch of the grower distribution program, the first year of our Ventura Coastal joint venture juice partnership, for-profit business gains and the headquarter building sale were significant business highlights of 2013.”

“Profitable and competitive returns have fostered growth for Sunkist, allowing us to expand with the addition of a new grower/shipper and acreage increases among Sunkist’s existing packinghouses,” said Mark Gillette, re-elected chairman of Sunkist’s Board of Directors and president of Sunkist-affiliated Gillette Citrus Inc. “In addition, our growers are continuing to expand production of newer varieties that consumers favor to position Sunkist for further growth in the current marketplace.”
As a result of cost containment efforts and positive results, Sunkist launched the grower distribution program in 2013 to directly share annual earnings with the cooperative’s grower members. 2013 also marked the first full year of Sunkist’s juice processing partnership with Ventura Coastal LLC, which has greatly increased efficiencies for Sunkist’s growers.

Sunkist’s for-profit businesses also made positive advances in the past year. “Our licensing team continues scouring the globe for opportunities and, as a result, Sunkist signed five new licensees in 2013,” added Hanlin. With 49 licensees in total, the Sunkist brand is used to market 800 products in 86 countries.

Another positive event for the cooperative during the past year was the sale of the Sherman Oaks headquarters property and the purchase of a new building in Valencia, California to serve as the future home of Sunkist Growers and Fruit Growers Supply Company.

“As with any business, the produce industry faces many challenges and opportunities, we try to remain focused on our opportunities,” said Sunkist’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing Kevin Fiori. “Sunkist is well positioned for growth in the years to come and look forward to continuing to provide high-quality fruit to customers and consumers worldwide.”
Founded in 1893, the Sunkist cooperative of family farms offers more than 40 fresh citrus varieties and remains a brand that has been trusted by customers and consumers for over a century. With more than 3,000 grower members in California and Arizona, the Sunkist cooperative reflects the values and legacy of its 120-year history: family-owned farms where traditional growing practices, stewardship of natural resources and a dedication to innovation are proudly passed through the generations.
Sunkist continues to promote a culture of family and collaboration with growers and customers to drive beneficial results for all. Sunkist offers a full range of cartons, bags, display masters, bins and reusable plastic containers (RPCs) which have been designed with customers’ needs in mind. The company provides customer-specific creative marketing and promotional support to retail and foodservice trade designed to build consumer excitement, demand, and sales.