All varieties of Chilean clementines are a big draw in the U.S., but one late-season variety is particularly popular.
In August, Fort Pierce, Fla.-based DNE World Fruit Sales’ Chilean clementine deal will yield to the Chilean murcott mandarin variety, said Matt Gordon, Chilean program manager.
Gordon said he expects the variety to continue increasing in popularity — especially since there are now more of them for U.S. consumers to sample.
“From what I’ve seen in the ground down there, there’s some new growth,” he said. “In years past, we haven’t had enough” to meet consumer demand.
Quality, eye appeal and convenience have helped drive the murcott’s growth in North American markets, Gordon said.
“It has great color, it’s very easy to peel, and it’s virtually seedless,” he said.
Mark Greenberg, senior vice president of procurement for Fisher Capespan Inc., St. Laurent, Quebec, said his company expects to start bringing in murcotts in late August or early September.
Regardless of what they’re called — murcotts out of Chile, ClemenGolds out of South Africa — late-summer clementine varieties are revered for their high brix levels, said David Mixon, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Seald Sweet in Vero Beach, Fla.
“In general, they’re the best variety,” he said.