Trends Currently Affecting Grapefruit Producers in 2023
Current trends in the citrus industry can have a major effect on grapefruit sellers. If you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed that some citrus crops are a bit harder to find. Consumers still want grapefruit, so customer satisfaction can be negatively affected if Texas grapefruit isn’t in stock this year.
There are a number of reasons why grapefruit production has taken a hit. While normal weather issues haven’t helped, grapefruit producers in Florida are also up against a particularly nasty disease.
Lone Star Citrus has what you need to know so you can keep sourcing delicious healthy grapefruit, such as our Winter Sweetzᵀᵐ.
What Grapefruit Sellers Need To Know About the Decline in Citrus Production
Since 2000, domestic citrus production has seen a dramatic decrease. This affects many types of citrus, but the worst hit are the varieties most commonly grown in Florida. While oranges have taken the biggest hit, grapefruit is still affected.
Unfortunately, weather and disease have hit hard and gotten to the point where domestic supply can’t always meet demand. The 2022-2023 season is expected to produce 22% fewer boxes of citrus compared to the previous year. This is projected to be the worst year for citrus since the Great Depression during the 1931-1932 growing season.
Thankfully, Texas grapefruit growers haven’t been hit in the same way. The disease that caused the decline, citrus greening disease, hasn’t made its way over to Texas grapefruit groves. This means many stores have had to switch to selling Rio Red grapefruit over their old standbys.
What Is Florida Citrus Greening?
Citrus greening is passed to trees by the Asian citrus psyllid. Once a tree has been infected, it can’t be cured. Infected trees produce bitter, green fruit that can’t be eaten or used for juice. The only solution is to remove infected trees and try to control the insects that spread it. This is one of the biggest challenges the citrus industry currently faces.
Florida citrus greening disease is having a massive impact on Florida’s citrus production, which has dropped by 93% since pre-discovery levels. Now, Texas grapefruit growers have needed to expand to help meet the demand.
Currently, grapefruit produced in Texas and several other states is what is most frequently available to customers.
How Does Severe Weather Affect Grapefruit Producers?
Severe weather, like hurricanes, cannot only destroy crops but also injure or kill whole groves. Since grapefruit trees take several years to produce fruit for market, this can seriously cut into future earnings for grapefruit producers.
For example, Texas grapefruit growers saw an 80% drop in production in the state after the hurricane in 2020 and winter freeze in 2021. There was an overall drop of 20% in grapefruit production nationwide as a result of other extreme weather during this period. Supplies have increased since then, particularly for Texas grapefruit groves that are further from the coast. Some varieties, like the Texas Rio Red grapefruit from Winter Sweetzᵀᵐ ripen in winter, so fewer ripe fruit are lost.
Choosing the Best Grapefruit for Your Store
Texas grapefruit is a perfect choice to sell in your store. If you want the best of the best, go with Winter Sweetzᵀᵐ. Our Texas Rio Red grapefruit is a great choice for customers. They’re just as sweet as the name says — the only bitter part is that you have to wait for the picking season, which takes place between October and April!
Be ready for this year’s season early. Learn more about Texas grapefruit and see the current events from our groves by signing up for our newsletter.