A company with a long history in the easy-peel citrus market has moved into the category with an offering of their own. AgNet West spoke with Executive Vice President of Farming for Fowler Packing Company Grant Parnagian about their new mandarin brand that is being seen in stores like Costco throughout California.
“For the last 20 years we had been in a partnership with Cuties and Halos and this summer we’ve decided to move on and go on our own and put out our own new brand and it’s called Peelz,” Parnagian noted. “Same product – easy-peel, seedless mandarins – but just a different brand. We’re just off on our own now and it’s another product brand for our other commodities that we have.”
Fowler Packing was among one of the first farming operations in the Central Valley to plant mandarins, and has since grown to become the third-largest supplier of mandarins in the U.S. The easy-peel citrus market has grown significantly over the past ten years, due in part to the popularity among parents and children who appreciate the ease of which the fruit can be consumed.
“It’s just a really good product. It’s very convenient, it’s easy to peel, there’s no seeds. It’s easy for the kids to eat, put in their lunchboxes, carry it to the soccer games or whatever,” said Parnagian. “The category has really taken off, so we’re real excited to have been a part of it and continue to be a part of it with our new brand.”
The company began harvesting the Peelz fruit back at the beginning of November, with an expectation for a strong season in terms of yield and quality. “The fruit is testing really, really good. The internal qualities, the sugar, the brix levels, the acids, are better than we anticipated. So, it should be a really, really good eating quality year for us,” Parnagian explained.