(Nov. 17) FORT PIERCE, Fla. — In its fifth season marketing Spanish clementines under the Ocean Spray label, DNE World Fruit Sales plans to ship the citrus in 2- and 3-pound bags.

The mesh packages will be shipped across the U.S., but volumes will be limited, said Bill Weyland, general manager of imports.

“It’s really kind of a controlled-volume program that we have for this season,” he said. “We’re afraid that we could get in over our heads a little bit.”

The bags will be in stores the first week of December, through January, Weyland said. They feature high-graphic plastic bands and stand on their own.

The fruit, which in the bags will be marketed as Sweet Clementines, was harvested about Oct. 4, seven to nine days later than normal, Weyland said. He said quality was excellent.

This is the seventh season DNE has imported Spanish clementines, which also are packed in the traditional 5-pound boxes.

For the industry, Weyland said Spanish clementine volumes before Thanksgiving would be down about 20% from last year. Small fruit volumes were expected to be down 15% to 20%.

DNE, however, was set to increase its Spanish clementine volume by 15% to 20% for the season, as Weyland said new growers would provide more fruit.

Weyland declined to release DNE’s volumes.

He said the industry imported about 65,000 tons of Spanish clementines last year, a number he said would decrease to less than 60,000 this year.

Spanish clementines to ship in small mesh bags
DNE World Fruit Sales, Fort Pierce, Fla., has developed a prototype of a mesh bag banner that it will use on 2- and 3-pound bags.