The Cold Hardy Citrus Association (CHCA), a collaborative group of more than 75 growers, handlers, processors and allied businesses of all sizes, with groves and packing facilities throughout the Florida Panhandle, Eastern Alabama and Southern Georgia, will debut their newly created regional brand—Sweet Valley Citrus—at the New York Produce Show on December 15, 2021.
“Sweet Valley is a mythical place,” said Karen Nardozza, president and CEO of Moxxy, the marketing agency CHCA hired to develop the new regional brand and generate awareness. “While you can’t find Sweet Valley on a map in the multi-state, Southeast areas where CHCA members grow, harvest and pack, the name is meant to provide a memorable moniker that describes the most beloved quality of the citrus fruit grown in the cool climate there—primarily Satsuma mandarins.”
Peak season is in full swing for Sweet Valley Satsuma mandarins, with strong volumes expected through mid-January. Sweet Valley Satsumas are known for their outstanding flavor and sweetness. They are a Southeastern favorite with retailers, consumers, schools and foodservice professionals.
“Our growers and packers are distributing under multiple labels and building their own brands, yet everyone’s fruit shares the exceptional qualities that are unique to our growing area,” said Kim Jones, current president of CHCA. “The new Sweet Valley Citrus label and brand identifies to buyers and consumers that this is a truly special fruit, locally grown on small farms—just what shoppers are looking for.”
Rich soils, warm summers and cool spring and fall seasons contribute to the super-sweet, easy-peel and seedless fruit consumers prefer. Sweet Valley Satsumas fly off the shelves by the carton during the very short season from October through January. They are asked for with excited anticipation by consumers, provide retailers the opportunity for stunningly beautiful displays and profitable promotions, and give community organizations a popular fundraising tool for schools and charities.
“The cooler climate and higher humidity compared to other citrus growing regions really makes a difference in the eating experience,” Jones added. “Sweet Valley Citrus is remarkably more flavorful, with consistently higher Brix values.”
Sweet Valley Citrus is also known for its extraordinary Shiranui mandarins, Cara Cara navel oranges, grapefruit, Kishu mandarins, tangerines, and lemons.
Because of their convenient Southeast locations, amplified by supply chain issues at U.S. ports, Sweet Valley Citrus packers also offer the freshest fruit and fastest shipping to locations east of the Mississippi. Compared to West Coast and imported citrus, this reduced shipping time can extend shelf life from a few days to several weeks.
About Cold Hardy Citrus Association
Owners of the regional brand Sweet Valley Citrus, the Cold Hardy Citrus Association was established in 2017 to ensure all producers in the region, large and small, have a unified voice in an emerging industry, and to provide education on best farming practices. A 501(c)(5) organization, members include growers, handlers, shippers and allied businesses in the Florida Panhandle, Eastern Alabama, and Southern Georgia. For more information visit sweetvalleycitrus.com.