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Susie – the new Wonderful Citrus star

Wonderful Citrus is America’s largest integrated grower (65,000 acres), shipper and packer of fresh citrus.

Resulting from the acquisition of Texas citrus importer I. Knik and the leading Mexican grower & packer of limes B&S, Wonderful Citrus added the famous “Susie” lime brand to its portfolio. The Mexican limes are being also largely exported to Europe, in particular in Rotterdam, France, Italy, Holland, Belgium and Spain. Produced in the provinces of Veracruz and Tabasco, the B&S limes are of premium quality and worldwide recognized. “The lemons and lime category is growing very well in the US, and our exported are increasing nby 15 to 20%” said VP sales Scott Owens.

Wonderful Citrus is America’s largest integrated grower (65,000 acres), shipper and packer of fresh citrus. These acquisitions, combined with existing lime growing operations , confirm the company’s commitment to a vertical integration strategy in the Persian lime market, assuring the highest product quality for customers by controlling all steps in the process from tree to table. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed. “The addition of this infrastructure and supply of Persian limes provided by these major acquisitions is a perfect complement to the other citrus varieties we already offer”.

B&S and I. Kunik now Wonderful Citrus

The operations of I. Kunik, located in McAllen, TX, are renamed “Wonderful Citrus, I. Kunik Division,” and become the center for all Persian lime distribution to the U.S. and Canada by Wonderful Citrus. Strategically located in the Rio Grande Valley close to the U.S.-Mexico border, I. Kunik brings to Wonderful Citrus its long-standing relationships with B&S, other suppliers, and many customers developed over five decades in the business, as well as a 65,000 square foot packing and cold storage facility.

Close to 300 B&S employees have also joined Wonderful Citrus as part of the deal. The operations of B&S, located in Martinez de la Torre in Veracruz, Mexico, have been renamed Grupo B&S, and will be managed as a separate division of Wonderful Citrus. Centrally located in the heart of the five Persian lime-growing states of Mexico, B&S brings to Wonderful Citrus its long-standing relationships with leading growers and third-party suppliers, as well as a 264,000 square foot packing facility.

Wonderful Citrus also acquired 1,944 acres of lime orchards in the states of Veracruz and Puebla, Mexico. With the addition of these lime orchards, Wonderful Citrus has a total of 7,100 acres of producing and/or maturing lime orchards in Mexico and is now the largest grower of limes in the country.

A wonderful fruit company

Wonderful Citrus is part of The Wonderful Company, a successful, fast-growing privately held $4.8 billion company with 7,800 employees worldwide. We’ve made Wonderful Pistachios one of America’s top-selling salty snacks. We’ve turned pomegranates and POM Wonderful into a worldwide phenomenon. Wonderful Halos is the No. 1 mandarin orange in America. FIJI Water is the No. 1 premium bottled water in America. JUSTIN Wine produces California’s top-selling, high-end Cabernet Sauvignon. And Teleflora is the world’s largest flower delivery service.

The Wonderful Company has a long-standing commitment to corporate social responsibility, including more than $120 million invested in environmental technologies and sustainability research, nearly $50 million in charitable giving and education initiatives in 2015 alone, $30 million toward the construction of a new charter school campus in California’s Central Valley, and innovative health and wellness programs. More at www.wonderful.com.

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Wonderful Citrus plans to ship more Mexican lime, Texas grapefruit to Europe

As the Florida industry continues to decline due to serious pest/disease pressure Wonderful Citrus hopes to expand the presence of Texas in Europe.

Wonderful Citrus has regular shipments to Europe of three citrus varieties:

  • Mexican limes,
  • Texas deep red grapefruit. and
  • California minneola tangelos. 

“We are the largest grower of minneolas in California and we have been supplying the Dutch market for nearly 10 years,” said Scott Owens, VP sales and marketing.

Most minneolas are consumed in Holland rather than being re-exported.

“Both Mexican limes and Texas deep red grapefruit are relatively new to our citrus portfolio but we believe we can find success in Europe. In 2015 we began trial shipments of Mexican limes to understand the market requirements and prepare for future increases in our production base. We have been sending small volumes of our deep red Texas grapefruit to Europe for several years in order to expose customers to the merits of Texas grapefruit.” 

Texas indeed produces a sub-tropical grapefruit similar to Florida, not as pretty on the outside but with excellent internal characteristics. More than 30 years ago Texas had a good following in Europe but was replaced by Florida. As the Florida industry continues to decline due to serious pest/disease pressure, Wonderful Citrus hopes to expand the presence of Texas in Europe.