This year’s Annual Planning Meeting, hosted by Summer Citrus from South Africa (SCSA) brought members from across the United States and Western Cape together to review sales and marketing plans, production volumes, shipping schedules and category trends to support the 2017 season.
Seald Sweet International’s Mayda Sotomayor opened the planning sessions by introducing the growers, importers, retailers, marketing team and other key members of the organization. SCSA grower Piet Smit gave a production update, confirming the crop has increased from 2016. All products have seen volume growth including Easy Peelers at 15 percent, Navels at 7 percent, Midknights at 40 percent, Cara Caras at 11 percent and Star Ruby grapefruit at 26% growth.
Sam’s Club’s Shanan Cox spoke on the trends in citrus consumption and purchasing behaviors of the Club Channel shopper, while Joel Nelson from California Citrus Mutual spoke on behalf of the California citrus producers to educate the group on economic realities of the citrus market in America.
“I’ve had the honor to be part of the South African program now for 17 seasons. We’ve come a long way, and weathered several perfect storms together,” said CEO of Seald Sweet, Mayda Sotomayor. “Now look at us and what has been accomplished – we’re growing stronger each year and building a legacy.”
DMA Solutions, Inc. CEO Dan’l Mackey Almy and vice president Megan Zweig presented the success of last year’s inaugural consumer marketing campaign along with expected outcomes of this year’s marketing efforts, based on the data collected from last year’s consumer outreach. The company’s Swing Into Summer! promotion will launch next month, followed by an infuencer-based promotion in July – all with the goal to educate and inspire the use of Summer Citrus from South Africa while it’s available.
“Our annual planning meeting is a vital part of our company’s success and offers the opportunity to bring all of our partners together before our first vessel arrives in the U.S. in June,” said CEO of Summer Citrus from South Africa Suhanra Conradie. “This year was a tremendous success as we’ve continued to bring thoughtful discussion to the table in order to best serve the U.S. market while domestic citrus is not available.”
Meeting attendees also included key players from the brand’s four main importers – Seald Sweet, DNE, Capespan and AMC. The event resulted in collaborative planning and preparation among the entire supply chain to support the most successful summer crop season to date.
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