December 17, 2020

The demand for citrus, especially mandarins and oranges, has risen this year. Additionally, Argentine lemon shipments have doubled. 

During this challenging year, San Miguel has continued betting on growth to continue delivering its products to the different markets around the world. Particularly in the United States, the company has increased the number of shipments of different types of fresh fruit from Argentina, Uruguay and Peru. 

Due to an increase in the demand for citrus and driven by the consumer's interest in healthy food and the pandemic context, North American retail programs have driven the sales of these functional products, with a significant increase in hoarding purchases. 

“In the United States, our main focus is on increasing depth in programs with the major supermarkets, with which we have been working for several years. Peru is a great platform for us in this market; its products —mandarin, avocado and patented table grape varieties— allow us to offer retailers stronger programs throughout the year,” says Agustina Fabbio, Fresh Fruit Commercial Director at San Miguel.

Among other varieties, the company exports avocado, grapes and premium mandarins such as Tango and Murcott, from Peru.  Additionally, it sends Clementine and Afourer mandarins from Uruguay, Navel and Cara oranges (also from Uruguay), as well as Argentine and Uruguayan lemons to the USA. 

“Our priority from Peru is to grow exports to the United States supported by the short transit time: containers from the ports of Paita and Callao reach Philadelphia or Los Angeles in twelve days. We have selling windows for our products that coincide with the off season in the Northern Hemisphere. The United States is the most attractive market for our premium fruits from Peru, Uruguay and Argentina,” says Francisco Chevallier Boutell, Regional Manager for the US.

The demand for sweet citrus has risen this year, due to their high vitamin C content and their natural protecting peel. During this season, the company has doubled mandarin shipments to the United States from Peru and Uruguay, with almost 20,000 tons in total. These are varieties such as Tango, W. Murcott and Clementine, which are seedless and have great flavor. Moreover, orange prices have improved considerably, from the downward trend in recent years.

Meanwhile, lemons are also consolidating in the United States: San Miguel has doubled its exports of Argentine lemons compared to 2019, shipping 10,000 tons in 2020 following the historical reopening of the market for this fruit three years ago. "Argentine lemons are appreciated by consumers in the US due to their high juice content, within a selling window prior to the start of exports from Chile and Mexico," concludes Chevallier.