- Weather has not been friendly to California's citrus crops, which has sustained major losses this year and anticipates the possibility of losses next year due to the current severe drought.
- Freezing temperatures in December wiped out a quarter of California's mandarin, navel oranges, and lemons, according to industry group California Citrus Mutual. Estimates indicate a $441 million loss for the $2 billion California citrus industry.
- The only bright spot in the industry is the mandarin crop, which grew by +12% season-to-date through Dec. 28, according to Nielsen Perishables Group.
While oranges tend to be the first fruit that comes to mind when someone mentions California citrus, mandarins have been increasingly prominent in that category. In 2013, the citrus category grew 12%, with mandarins, the number two citrus crop with sales of $792 million, contributing to that growth with a +31% increase. Oranges, the number one citrus crop with sales of $872 million, grew 3%. One thing that distinguishes mandarins is its consumer-consciousness; getting the right brand can make a significant difference in sales.