Fresh kumquats from Chile, which are in season starting in late August, soon will be in consumers’ hands.
“Shoppers are asking for kumquats year-round, not just in the winter anymore,” said Alex Jackson Berkley, assistant sales manager at Frieda’s Specialty Produce. “Even Oprah recently mentioned her kumquat trees and sharing the fruits with her friends.”
Kumquats are trending. According to a Datassential report, 62 percent of the U.S. population know about kumquats and 23 percent have tried them.
“When there’s a wide gap between awareness and trial, we know that item is getting ready to take off,” added Berkley.
Frieda’s worked with its grower partners in Chile for several years to develop production that is permitted for importation into the U.S. market. Chilean kumquat season now accounts for 25 percent of Frieda’s kumquat sales in volume. This percentage increases year-over-year as retailers and foodservice companies learn about the Chilean season and as Frieda’s grower partners plant more fruit to meet the demand.
“Thanks to the contra-seasonal production from the Southern Hemisphere, we are able to fill the supply gap when California kumquats are not in season, making them more accessible to retailers, as well as foodservice providers,” said Berkley. “Retailers who take advantage of our Chilean kumquat season will see the incremental sales lift. We will have Chilean supplies from late August through December.
“We offer the same pack sizes for our Chilean as our Californian crop: 10-lb. bulk and 12/8-oz. branded pouch, which is easy for merchandising and ringing up. Our retail clients love our pouch pack, as it increases the sell through while reducing ‘shopper grazing’ shrink.”
In addition to kumquats, Frieda’s offers extended season and availability from grower partners around the world for many specialty citrus items to answer shopper demand, including blood oranges, Meyer lemons and more.