Bags continue to gain dominance as the package of choice for South African clementines — and, in many cases, for oranges, too.

Tom Cowan, South African sales manager for Fort Pierce, Fla.-based DNE World Fruit Sales, has some packaging-related advice for U.S. grocers this summer.

“Retailers should make a big push on clementine bags during late June through July,” Cowan said.

DNE has seen a big shift from five-pound boxes to two- and three-pound bags for summer citrus from South Africa and other countries.

“Retailers can get to a more-attractive price point on the smaller bags,” Cowan said. “Last season we saw retailers promoting the two-pound bags at $2.99 and $3.99 and the three-pound bags at $4.99 and $5.99.”

David Mixon, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Seald Sweet International, Vero Beach, Fla., agrees that boxes will continue to decline as the South African clementine packaging option of choice.

“The bagging of clementines continues to be a market directive, and will continue to drive the category,” he said.

It’s not just mid-summer clementines that fit well with smaller consumer bags, Cowan said.

“The navel three-pound bags also provide a good item to promote during the July, August and early September period,” he said.

Marc Solomon, president and chief executive of Montreal-based Fisher Capespan, expects a similar mix of packaging for South African citrus as in 2010.

“Oranges are primarily bulk or in pound bags,” he said. “Clementines are sold mostly in 2- and 3-pound bags. Grapefruit are sold bulk.”