“Peelz” are little oranges new to your grocery store.
Although the name is new, the Valley is long-famous for this easy-to-peel fruit.
Fowler Packing Company CEO Justin Parnagian says years ago the market for mandarins was still quite small, “We started twenty years ago packing under the Cutie label, then packing under the Halo label. Now… we’re packing in our own label which is Peelz.”
The brand new brand is exclusive to Fowler Packing, one of the first in the Valley to invest in growing mandarins and already the nation’s third-largest supplier.
“I don’t think it’s the Coke versus Pepsi model because … It’s all the same varietals that Halos packs or Cuties packs. We’re different farmers. Peelz puts out a better product.”
Oranges arriving from the orchards ride through a high-tech more than half-million square foot facility that washes, waxes, sorts, grades and packs the fruit.
Parnagian says, “Peelz is entirely Fowler Packing owned. It’s off of our own ranches. … So when you see it in Costco or see it in SaveMart in the Valley. This is part of the Valley.”
Parnagian believes the popularity of these small oranges will only get bigger. “I don’t think my children know what a navel is. They’ve been eating mandarins their whole lives. That’s their idea of what a citrus is rather than the navel I grew up with.”