Tangerines have gone from overlooked oddity to overnight success story, thanks to seedless varieties and savvy marketing. Now if they could all just get along.
Oranges were dominant in the 20th century. Between andtangerine groves in California skyrocketed from 8, acres to 38, acres, while over the same timespan orange groves slipped fromacres down toIt took concerted marketing campaigns from business-savvy citrus farmers who brought a new idea to the world of tangerines: For over a century in the U.
A study revealed that customers would be willing to pay up to four times as much for a seedless tangerine as they would for one of the old-fashioned seedy varieties. So tangerine growers gave shoppers what they wanted: Those damn seeds were the problem.
The natural plethora of seeds in most varieties made tangerines more problematic than the seedless and effortless navel orange. Citrus researchers have been hard at work for decades in a quest for seedlessness.
New seedless varieties have created a 21st-century tangerine gold rush. An acre of seedless mandarins is now much more profitable than an acre of any other citrus. He learned to his amazement that the variety was grown only in Morocco, but would soon become available in California.