Press Centre

'Tis the season to be citrus

Asda expects to sell bumper crop of satsumas and clementines this Christmas

Soft citrus fruit sales heralds the start of the Christmas season as shoppers stock up on juicy goodness in the form of satsumas, clementines and tangerines (also known as mandarins)

Whilst the rest of Europe prefer the sweeter taste of clementines, Brits continue to show a preference for the traditional festive favourite, the satsuma (2.5 million bags sold in Asda last Christmas)

Brits love of the satsuma has prevented the traditional fruit being wiped out in favour of its more recent citrus counterpart, the clementine

Approx 200,000 tonnes of satsumas are exported from Turkey, Spain and Croatia to Europe every year with the UK importing approx. 25% compared to Germany (20%) Benelux (11%) and France (0.25%)

Soft citrus fruits are the largest selling fruit line over Christmas period – 90% of soft citrus fruit sales at Asda are satsuma and clementine sales.

Clementines are on shelf all year round; satsumas appear from the end of September through the Christmas period then return to shelves from Spring until June

Asda’s Pulse of the Nation survey findings show that two thirds (67%) of shoppers are clueless when it comes to telling the difference between satsumas, clementines and tangerines

Satsumas are easier to peel with a loose skin, seedless with a watery taste – the preferred choice for Brits whilst clementines have a rounder, slightly thicker, deeper orange skin. The latter are sweeter, mainly seedless, firmer, have a natural perfume and are more flavoursome – the preferred choice for Europeans

Tangarines are harder to peel, have more seeds and are more tangy/acidic

In the 1980s a virus hit satsuma trees in Spain resulting in clementines being grown as an alternative – the trend for clementines took off and remains in Europe today

Asda is continually looking for new satsuma varieties to extend the season plus sourcing from alternative grower countries, for example Croatia which began four years ago

At Asda 3 million UK households will have satsumas and clementines this Christmas and its expecting to sell approx. 6 million multi pack bags (weight 700g)

Despite the popularity of satsumas in the UK, over the last five years Asda has seen a 30% increase in clementine sales (without any decline to satsumas sales)

Paul Chuter, Asda’s Citrus Fruit Buyer said: “Despite Europe’s preference for sweeter clementines, Brits remain faithful to the traditional satsuma over the Christmas period. However, Brits are showing a growing interest in clementines as the season becomes extended with the introduction of some fantastic new varieties. Whatever your preference, Asda will ensure both festive varieties will be available for many future Christmases to come!”

Asda satsumas and clementines are priced at £1.16 per bag or 2 for £2 (£1.66/kg)

Posted in Press Centre on 02 December 2011