Sunkist tops $1 billion again

02/25/2014 11:56:00 AM
Mike Hornick

SunkistSunkist Growers’ revenue has surpassed $1 billion for a fourth straight year, with grower payments hitting $873 million — up from $838 million in 2012.

The Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based cooperative announced 2013 results at its annual meeting Feb. 19.

“Over the past year, we have made significant advances on key strategic initiatives to position Sunkist for long-term growth and profitability,” Sunkist president and chief executive officer Russell Hanlin said in a news release. “Acreage increases, the launch of the grower distribution program, the first year of our Ventura Coastal joint venture juice partnership, for-profit business gains and the headquarter building sale were significant business highlights of 2013.”

The Sherman Oaks headquarters property was sold as a new building in Valencia, Calif., was purchased for the future site of Sunkist Growers and Fruit Growers Supply Co.

Mark Gillette, president of Sunkist-affiliated Gillette Citrus Inc., was re-elected chairman of Sunkist’s board of directors. He said its growers are continuing to expand production of newer varieties.

“Profitable and competitive returns have fostered growth for Sunkist, allowing us to expand with the addition of a new grower-shipper and acreage increases among Sunkist’s existing packinghouses,” Gillette said in the release.

The grower distribution program was started in 2013 to directly share annual earnings with the cooperative’s grower members. It was also the first full year of Sunkist’s juice processing partnership with Ventura Coastal LLC, credited with increasing efficiencies for growers.

Sunkist’s for-profit businesses also made advances.

“Sunkist signed five new licensees in 2013,” Hanlin said.

With 49 total licensees, the brand markets 800 products in 86 countries.



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