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Duda Farm Fresh Foods opens California citrus season

Duda Farm Fresh Foods marks the start of the California-grown citrus season with a large variety of items available now in promotable volumes.

“The Navel oranges crop is off to an early start this season and the fruit is exceptionally sweet,” Paul Huckabay, Duda Western citrus sales manager, said in a press release.DUDA-12134-MeyerLemonBag Fr

“The Navel orange sizing is slightly smaller than the past few seasons and we are seeing a lot of excitement surrounding bag promotions for the holidays,” Huckabay said.  “We anticipate some fruit growth over the next few months and hope to have larger sized fruit near Christmas or the first of the year.”

Supplies of lemons are abundant from the California desert region. The Duda lemon crop has an even distribution of sizes which will appeal to both retail and foodservice customers.

“We plan to transition harvest to the central San Joaquin Valley district in December and then continue production into spring,” Huckabay said.

Mandarins also had an early start to the season this year, and the fruit size is moderate to slightly larger with a nice eating quality.  

“We have good volume now and we are well positioned for holiday ads as we move into November and December,” he said. “We will have good volume from early January all the way through March and into early April.”

Lastly, Duda started shipping Meyer lemons the last week of October — a full week earlier than last year.  The Dandy one-pound Grab n’ Go bag is updated this year to reflect new recipes and uses for Meyer lemons. The quality is excellent with smooth, well-shaped fruit and a sweet and juicy interior, Huckabay said.  

"Meyer lemons are one of the last really seasonal items in the product department, and that creates excitement for the overall citrus set and brings attention to the category,” he said.

The company projects good volume of Meyer lemons for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and continuing through March.

Duda is supporting sales with new seasonal packaging, data and an online sales kit that includes recipes for consumers and point-of-sale material.