The marketing arm of the Texas citrus industry, Mission-based TexaSweet Citrus Marketing Inc. plans to focus its efforts on building demand in core markets this season.

Executive director Eleisha Ensign said she and marketing coordinator Kymberly Meade plan to do media tours in Portland and  Sacramento in November and Phoenix in January.

“We’re choosing markets that we do send a good amount of grapefruit to,” Ensign said. “We are trying to build the markets where people have access to Texas grapefruit.”

TexaSweet’s materials focus on the state’s signature red rio star grapefruit.

“We want people to look for Texas when they go to the store,” she said.

The group also will be sampling sections at the P.F. Chang’s Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon in Phoenix on Jan. 17 and the Las Vegas Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon on Dec. 6.

Marathons are a good opportunity to reach health-conscious consumers, Ensign said.

Foodservice outreach

Ensign said TexaSweet plans to do some foodservice outreach this season, although foodservice is not typically a major focus.

TexaSweet joined the sponsors of the Produce for Better Health Foundation and Culinary Institute of America’s Produce First! American Menu’s Initiative, scheduled for Jan. 24.

It also is sponsoring a chef demonstration at the American Culinary Federation Western Conference in Albuquerque Feb. 6-8.

Foodservice hasn’t been a major focus for TexaSweet, but Ensign said these events made sense.

“They came up at good times for us in our season,” she said. “And we met the right contacts and they fell into place.”

TexaSweet also has new retail and educational materials available for point-of-sale promotions.

“The biggest one is our new tear-leaf recipe card,” Ensign said. “It’s beautiful and has very high graphics.”

A new activity sheet for schools also is available to educators.