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TexaSweet Citrus Marketing Inc. will begin the new marketing season with fresh programs and materials.

"This season we have a wide variety of outreach programs in place, and we can't wait to spread the word about our sweet Rio Star Grapefruit," Eleisha Ensign, executive director of TexaSweet, said in an Oct. 28 press release.

TexaSweet's marketing program for the 2009-10 season will include a media tour that will cover the Sacramento, CA, Portland, OR, and Phoenix markets, and a nationally syndicated PBS show to promote the Texas Rio Star grapefruit. TexaSweet will also attend the Las Vegas and Phoenix Rock 'N Roll Marathon Expos. Texa_Sweet will also be introducing the Rio Star grapefruit to 12 nationally recognized publications.

New consumer materials for the 2009-10 season include a tear-leaf recipe card featuring five of TexaSweet's newer and more popular recipes, a children's cookbook, bookmarks and a colorful activity sheet. An interactive recipe press kit was also created for food writers that features many of Texa_Sweet's recipes in a unique, user-friendly CD format.

TexaSweet was also awarded $100,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to increase awareness and consumption of Texas Rio Star grapefruit by conducting mass-media outreach via television, a four-city media tour and a series of in-store sampling demonstrations.

The USDA forecast for the 2009-10 Texas citrus season is 2.9 million cartons of oranges and 10.6 million cartons of grapefruit.