Chairman Johnson: Citrus Gifts are a Longstanding Holiday Tradition

The holidays are upon us, and, for many, that means a search to find the perfect gifts for loved ones and friends. Fortunately, we don’t have to look far. Citrus has been part of holiday celebrations for centuries and for good reason.

In 19th century Europe, an orange placed at the bottom of a stocking likely represented gold as it was exotic and expensive in the midst of dark winters. In the early 1900s, citrus growers promoted their fruit as a healthy holiday gift. Today, a box of citrus delivered to your door serves as a welcome dose of sunshine and vitamin C, especially for our northern neighbors experiencing freezing temperatures and snow.

Throughout November and December, the Department is encouraging consumers to send a gift of sunshine this holiday season to support Florida Citrus Gift Fruit shippers during their busiest time of year. The campaign includes social media advertising across Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest driving audiences to PickFLA.com where they can select a business to purchase from. Using short, animated videos highlighting the uniqueness, great taste, and health benefits of Florida Citrus gifts, the campaign targets Floridians as well as others living in top U.S. markets for citrus. The campaign will continue into the new year to help promote Florida Honeybell season.

We can help further support our Florida Citrus Gift shippers by sharing some of these messages with our friends. And, of course, by sending Florida Citrus to those who may not live so close to the groves.

As the temperatures across the U.S. continue to drop, the Department’s Winter Wellness campaign is underway. FDOC partner and influencer Taylor Walker Fit shared tips on how to stay healthy throughout winter, including incorporating Florida Orange Juice into her routine. She also shared a hot toddy recipe featuring Florida Orange Juice in posts and short videos on social media.

Additionally, FDOC partner Registered Dietitian Sammi Brondo shared a Honey Florida Orange Juice Glazed Salmon recipe perfect for winter on her blog and social media channels, further highlighting the role of orange juice in helping to support the immune system. Additional Winter Wellness partnerships will continue through February.

These partnerships are part of the awareness driving tactics supporting the Department’s eCommerce program to drive sales of Florida Orange Juice. Since July, the program has driven more than $14.4 million in attributed sales. With seven months to go, the Department is well on its way to meeting its $30 million annual goal. Learn more about the campaign from the Department’s latest dashboard tracking results on a weekly basis.

Steve Johnson is Chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission, which oversees the Florida Department of Citrus. He is the owner and general manager of Johnson Harvesting, Inc., based in Wauchula, FL.