Easy-peel citrus varieties should increase in popularity which is expected to result in those products surpassing navel oranges in the next few years as the most consumed fresh citrus in the U.S., according to Rabobank research.
In an April report, the company showed South America has greatly increased its exports in the past five years. Since the mid-1990s, U.S. mandarin consumption has surpassed domestic production, and now imports account for about one-third of domestic consumption.
“Availability of mandarins in the U.S. increased at a compound annual growth rate of 6% during the past decade to about 7 pounds per person per year. If the trend continues, in the next few years mandarins will surpass oranges as the most-consumed fresh citrus in the U.S. The attractive combination of convenience, healthfulness, and taste will continue driving consumer demand for mandarins in the U.S.”
Acreage in California has increased more than sixfold in the past 20 years, reaching 67,000 acres in 2021, while acreage in Florida has declined due to phytosanitary pressures, the report said.