Sunkist Growers is celebrating its 130th anniversary and California roots with Sunkist Citrus Day on March 1. In anticipation of the day, the fresh citrus cooperative discussed its history and products.
Sunkist began in 1893, making it the longest-standing agricultural co-op in the United States. Sunkist’s first advertisement was published in Des Moines, Iowa, in March 1908 to promote the California observance called Orange Day. The ad stated, “For years, March 1 has been celebrated as ‘Orange Day’ in Southern California, and the festivities embrace a period of one week.” The ad also mentioned, “the orange offers unlimited possibilities in the daintiest of desserts. Their use is unlimited. Morning, noon and night.”
More than 1,500 growers make up Sunkist’s membership; many of the grower-members are small family farmers. Sunkist offers an array of conventional and organic oranges, lemons, mandarins, grapefruit, tangerines and tangelos.
“In a recent study, we learned that citrus shoppers find value in knowing where their citrus is grown and how it is picked,” said Christina Ward, senior director of global marketing. “We wanted to bring citrus shoppers to a California grove with ‘Meet the Grower’ POP (point of purchase)and interactive in-store displays. These materials educate shoppers on our growers’ stories, the zesty lineup of Sunkist citrus and our farming regions.”
Sunkist is also celebrating its legacy with a sweet Heirloom navel orange program. Grown on old-line California orange groves, Sunkist Legacy Heirloom Navels are sweet and fragrant.
The cooperative suggested some ways to observe Sunkist Citrus Day on March 1 and throughout the year, including:
- Try a new recipe – inspiration can always be found here.
- Order a citrus-forward dish or drink at your favorite restaurant.
- Share your favorite citrus flavors or wellness tips using citrus
- Give Sunkist a shout-out on social media using #NationalSunkistCitrusDay
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