Duda Farm Fresh Foods in Oviedo, FL, has excellent supplies of high-quality
Florida citrus available, according to Sam Jones, the company's citrus
"Duda Farm Fresh is working with the Florida Department of Citrus on
researching new citrus varietals for growing in the state of Florida," said Mr.
Jones. "These tests have the top priority in working on citrus varietals that are
consumer friendly, meaning great tasting, seedless and easy-to-peel fruit.
Nothing has been released yet, but research and testing is underway."
Duda Farm Fresh Foods is the exclusive sales and marketing company for
Peace River Packing in Ft. Meade, FL. Peace River Packing is a family-owned-
and-operated citrus growing and packing company that has been in business
for over 80 years.
Mr. Jones noted that February is National Grapefruit Month, and the product is
at its peak flavor this time of year. "This is a great time for retailers to
promote grapefruit," he said. "We will have consistent supplies available from
January through April."
He continued, "We just made a smooth transition from Sunburst tangerines to
Honey tangerines. Honey tangerines are known for their sweet distinctive
flavor, smooth texture and thin, easy-peel rind. They will be available from
January through April."
Hamlin oranges were still moving in mid-January, and Duda planned to
transition to Valencia oranges in mid- to late February.
"We will have Florida oranges available from January through May," said Mr.
Jones. "This is an excellent bagged fruit promotion item for retailers."
Paul Huckabay, Western citrus sales manager, said that the California citrus
season started approximately two weeks late this year.
"The extremely wet December in California has further delayed the season by
10 to 14 days," Mr. Huckabay said Jan. 18. "We will work through the rest of
January to catch up. Fortunately, the delay has allowed the fruit to grow, so
larger sizes are available."
Duda's California clementines began Nov. 1 and will run through May 1.
Meyer lemons run from November through August.
"The demand for Meyer lemons continues to rise," said Mr. Huckabay. "These
lemons help drive incremental sales in the lemon category because they offer
retailers a higher ring item. This relatively new but incredibly well-loved
lemon is available for distribution across North America and has been a
welcome addition to produce departments."
Duda Farm Fresh Foods began conducting a consumer media campaign
several years ago. It has resulted in reaching 31 million consumers. Food
blogging about Meyer lemons is up 179 percent from last year.
The company's Navel oranges from California are available from November to
April. Minneolas begin in late December and run to March.
"Cara Cara oranges will be a new addition to Duda's lineup next growing
season," Mr. Huckabay said.
Duda Farm Fresh Foods has introduced several new items. Its "Grab N Go"
clementines, developed with health-conscious consumers in mind, feature a
four-count of Citrine mandarins.
"Dandy" brand Meyer lemon totes and clamshells offer added convenience
from both a merchandising and functional perspective. The one-pound bag is
resealable and has a high-impact recipe on the label.