Retail promotion of citrus items comes down to practicality, says Julie DeWolf, retail marketing director for Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based Sunkist Growers Inc.

Items such as tangelos, tangerines and grapefruit provide numerous modes of promotion, DeWolf said.

“The best way to promote these varieties is through education regarding nutrition, taste profiles and usage ideas,” she said.

“For the seasonal items, since they are only in stores for a limited amount of time, creating a sense of urgency is important. If consumers know they can only get an item for a few months of the year, they will be more inclined to buy it, so retailers need to be diligent about noting items that are at the peak of season and communicating their limited availability to create some excitement.”

Discounts are proven tool for bringing in new customers, DeWolf said.

“If a retailer is introducing a variety for the first time, a high value or free trial coupon is a good idea to encourage discovery of the item in question,” she said.

“In-store radio advertising is also a great way to let consumers know about specials or new items, as well. Since consumers want to know more and more about the products they buy, there needs to be an easy way for them to obtain that information.”

Mobile messaging also is part of the marketing plan, DeWolf said.

“Sunkist is more heavily incorporating mobile messaging, in the form of both SMS campaigns and QR codes, on all of our materials to give consumers information at their fingertips and at the point of purchase,” she said.

Secondary display units also provide a good forum for merchandising numerous varieties, DeWolf said.

“Other interesting merchandising suggestions are to put these varieties/display units in other areas of the store, such as the pharmacy or health and beauty sections,” DeWolf said.

“During winter, especially, people are concerned about colds and flu, and everyone knows about the benefits of vitamin C. When someone visits the pharmacy to pick up a prescription or cold remedy, make it easy for them to pick up some vitamin C in its fresh and natural state.”