• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Main














Group Title: Bulletin - University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station ; no. 626
Title: Retail distribution and merchandising of fresh limes and frozen limeade concentrate
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027134/00001
 Material Information
Title: Retail distribution and merchandising of fresh limes and frozen limeade concentrate
Series Title: Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Physical Description: 32 p. : col. ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Manley, William T ( William Tanner ), 1929-
Godwin, Marshall R ( Marshall Reid ), 1922-
Publisher: University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1960
 Subjects
Subject: Limes -- Marketing   ( lcsh )
Citrus juices -- Marketing   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by William T. Manley and Marshall R. Godwin.
General Note: Cover title.
Funding: Bulletin (University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station) ;
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00027134
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000927067
oclc - 18302803
notis - AEN7770

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page 1
    Table of Contents
        Page 2
    Main
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Figure
        Figure
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
Full Text


September 1960


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATIONS
J. R. BECKENBACH, Director
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA











Retail Distribution and Merchandising of

Fresh Limes and Frozen Limeade

Concentrate


By
WILLIAM T. MANLEY
Assistant Agricultural Economist
and
MARSHALL R. GODWIN
Marketing Economist


Single copies free to Florida residents upon request to
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA


Bulletin 626






















CONTENTS
Page

INTRODUCTION .....-.... ---...-- ---- ------- -- ---- ....--.-... -.- 3

METHOD OF STUDY .... ......--- ----.---.---..- 3

FRESH LIMES ....... --..- ....-. -----..------- 4

Retail Availability -.....--....... ----- ----- 4

Merchandising Practices ........-.......-.---...-- --------.-. 8

Opinions About Market Quality .................. ----...--.-. 12

Operational Difficulties in Marketing ......- --.. ---.. -----------.-- .. 19

FROZEN LIMEADE CONCENTRATE ...- ---. -...-.. .. ......--- --- 21

Retail Availability -....... ---..... ---------- --- --- 21

Merchandising Practices ..... --............----.--- -------- 24

EVALUATION OF FINDINGS .......---..-- --------- ------- 26

SUMMARY ......----.------------ ..--------- .. 30

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ........-..... ...--- ------ ..-----......---. .. .. 32







Retail Distribution and Merchandising of
Fresh Limes and Frozen Limeade
Concentrate

WILLIAM T. MANLEY and MARSHALL R. GODWIN

INTRODUCTION
Recently growers and shippers of Florida limes have initiated
several industry-wide programs designed to improve the market
position of their product. Grade specifications regarding size,
maturity, color and other attributes of the product have been
formulated in order to control the quality of the fruit moving
into consumption channels. In addition, substantial attention
and effort have been devoted to expanding the market through
promotional activities. The effective implementation of these
programs requires a knowledge of the nature of the market
structure for both fresh limes and the important products mar-
keted in processed form.
Actions and decisions at the retail level are a major force in
determining the market position occupied by an agricultural
commodity. Consequently, an examination of the market struc-
ture for limes should consider rather carefully the various eco-
nomic facets of the retailing function. This publication pro-
vides information about current retail merchandising and mar-
keting practices for fresh limes and frozen concentrated limeade.
The specific objectives of the study upon which this report
is based were: (a) to determine the extent to which fresh
limes and frozen concentrated limeade are handled by type and
size of retailing establishment, (b) to establish current mer-
chandising methods for fresh limes and frozen concentrated
limeade, (c) to ascertain what retailers regard as quality in
fresh limes and (d) to examine the operational difficulties that
retailers encounter in marketing fresh limes.
The study was limited to Persian limes, since this is the
only commercially important variety produced in Florida.
METHOD OF STUDY
This report is based on data obtained from a sample survey
of 258 retail food stores in the Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio,
market areas. The survey, conducted in September 1958, in-
volved the observation of merchandising practices for fresh
limes and frozen limeade concentrate and also personal inter-






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


views with store management personnel. The number of retail
establishments visited in each of the two market areas was
approximately the same.
Stores included in the survey were selected by probability
sampling techniques. Individual establishments were selected
randomly from a complete list of retail food outlets in the two
market areas. Therefore, the size, type of ownership and geo-
graphic location of the stores included in this study were ap-
proximately proportional to the total number of stores in each
of these classifications in the two market areas. Almost three-
fourths of the stores were classified as independents, as com-
pared with 14 percent which were members of a national, re-
gional or local chain organization. Twelve percent were deli-
catessens and less than 1 percent were fruit and vegetable
specialty stores.
FRESH LIMES
RETAIL AVAILABILITY
The retail distribution of fresh limes is rather limited. Of
the 258 stores included in the survey, only 74, or 29 percent,
either had fresh limes available at the time of the interview or
had handled them during the summer of 1958. Almost two-
thirds of the stores had not handled limes for two years prior
to the survey (Table 1). Retail distribution of fresh lemons, a
major competing product, was much wider than that for fresh
limes. All except two of the 94 stores that had handled fresh
limes at some time during the preceding two years had fresh
lemons available when the survey was conducted.

TABLE 1.--AVAILABILITY OF FRESH LIMES AT THE RETAIL LEVEL.
Number
Availability of Stores Percent
Available at time of interview ....------..... -.. .31 12.0
Not available at time of interview but
handled during summer of 1958 ............... 43 16.7
Not handled during 1958 but during
sum m er of 1957 .................................. ..... 20 7.7
Not handled during two years preceding
the interview .................................... ....... 164 63.6

T total ------.. ...... .. ... ... .. .................... 258 100.0







Merchandising of Limes and Limieade Concentrate 5

There was little difference in the retail availability of limes
between the two market areas in which the study was conducted.
About 6 out of 10 stores in both market areas had not handled
limes during the past two years.
Considerable variation existed, however, between the avail-
ability of limes and the ownership arrangement of stores. Al-
most 90 percent of the chain stores either had limes available
at the time of interview or had handled them during the past
summer, as compared with only 21 percent of the independently
operated stores (Table 2). Most food retailing establishments
with only a partial or staple line of produce had not handled
limes during the past two years.
TABLE 2.-RELATION BETWEEN AVAILABILITY OF FRESH LIMES
AND TYPE OF STORE.

Type of Store
Availability Inde- Delica- Fruit or
pendent Chain tessen Veg. Market
-No. Pet. No. Pet. No. Pet. No. Pet.

Available at time
of interview .......... 12 6.3 17 46.0 1 3.3 1 50.0
Not available at
time of interview
but handled during
summer of 1958... 27 14.3 15 40.5 -- 1 50.0
Not handled during
1958 but during
summer of 1957.. 17 .0 1 2. 2 .7 --
Not handled during
two years preced-
ing the interview.. 133 70.4 4 10.8 27 90.0

Total ........ 18 100.0 37 100.0 30 ,100.0 2 100.0


There was a close relationship between the retail availability
of limes and the social and economic status of the area in which
stores were located. A much wider retail distribution of limes
existed in the high-income areas than in the medium- or low-
income areas of the two cities.' Approximately two-thirds of

'Both market areas were classified into three groups with respect to
income status of residents and into two groups with respect to the pre-
dominance of race. Income groups were classified as high, medium and
low and racial groups were classified as white and nonwhite. The classi-
fications of income status and racial composition of geographic areas were
based on information obtained from the 1950 Census of Housing: U. S.
Bureau of the Census, United States Census of Housing: 1950.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


the stores located in the high-income areas had handled limes in
the two years preceding the survey, as compared with less than
a fifth of the stores located in the low-income areas (Table 3).
Limes were unavailable in practically all stores located in pre-
dominantly nonwhite residential areas.
TABLE 3.-RELATION BETWEEN THE AVAILABILITY OF FRESH LIMES
AND THE ECONOMIC STATUS OF AREA OF STORE LOCATION.

Economic Status of Area
Availability Low I Medium High Not
Income IIncome Income Ascertained
No. Pet. J No. Pet. No. Pet. No. Pet.
Available at time
of interview ........ 1 1.0 10 13.0 16 26.2 4 19.0
Not available at
time of interview
but handled during
summer of 1958.... 11 11.1 13 16.9 16 26.2 3 14.3
Not handled during
1958 but during
summer of 1957... 5 5.1 5 6.5 7 11.5 3 14.3
Not handled during
two years preced-
ing the interview.. 82 82.8 49 63.6 22 36.1 11 52.4

Total -... ... 99 100.0 77 100.0 61 100.0 21 100.0


Management personnel were questioned to determine why
fresh limes were not available in many retail food stores. Rea-
sons pertaining to demand considerations were most important.
Almost 80 percent of the retailers who had not handled limes
for two years preceding the interview indicated that there was
little or no demand for this fruit. About one-third thought that
the lack of demand was due to the nature of the particular clien-
tele served by their store. A very small proportion of the re-
tailers indicated that limes were difficult to obtain at the whole-
sale level (Table 4).
About one-third of the retailers who had handled limes dur-
ing the past two years indicated that they generally sold them
the year round (Table 5). Of those who sold limes only during
certain months of the year, about one-half handled them only
during the period May through September. Most of the remain-
ing stores that sold limes seasonally handled them during De-
cember and January in addition to the summer months. Little







Merchandising of Limes and Limeade Concentrate

TABLE 4.-REASONS GIVEN BY RETAIL STORE OPERATORS FOR
NOT HANDLING FRESH LIMES.


Number
of Stores


Reasons


Percent


No demand (unspecified) ....... .... ...

No demand due to clientele of store ........

Demand not great enough to receive profit

Customers prefer processed lime products

No demand due to season ..

Too high in price ..............................

Not available from intermediary handler

Handle no produce ... ............

Sell no fruit of any kind ............

Lack of space .......................

Due to competition of chain stores


Total


68 41.4

50 30.5


19 11.6


164 100.0


or no relationship was found between the seasonality of handling
limes and the type or size of store. That is, the proportion of
independently operated stores and chain stores that handled
them on a 12-month basis was approximately equal.

TABLE 5.-THE AVAILABILITY OF FRESH LIMES AT THE
RETAIL LEVEL ON A SEASONAL BASIS.


Availability

Handle fresh limes the year round ...

Handle fresh limes during certain months

N ot ascertained .............................. -


Number
of Stores


Percent


29 30.8

62 66.0


3


94


Total


3.2


100.0


Retailers who handled limes throughout the year were asked
if they had experienced any difficulty obtaining them during
certain seasons. An affirmative response was obtained in about
3 out of 4 cases. This group was equally divided between re-
tailers who indicated limes were sometimes difficult to obtain







Florida Agricdltural Experiment Stations


during the winter months and those who said they were some-
times unavailable during the summer months.

MERCHANDISING PRACTICES

Most of the stores that had fresh limes available at the time
of interview displayed rather small quantities. About 6 out of
10 stores had less than five dozen on hand at the time they were
visited in this study. Less than 20 percent of the stores had
display quantities of more than 11 dozen (Table 6). The dis-
play prices ranged from a minimum of eight limes for 20 cents
to a maximum of four for 25 cents. A wide assortment of prices
and units was employed by retailers in merchandising fresh
limes. The most common unit of sale consisted of six limes, but
this pricing technique was employed in only one-third of the
stores. In comparison, about 8 out of 10 stores in this group
priced fresh lemons on display in units of one dozen. The most
frequently observed price for lemons was 40 cents per dozen.
TABLE 6.-DISPLAY QUANTITIES OF FRESH LIMES AT THE RETAIL LEVEL.
Number
Quantity of Stores Percent

Less than 1 dozen ... ... ... ..... .............. 2 6.5
1 to 2 dozen ... ... .... .. ........... .... ............ 3 9.7
2 to 3 dozen .. .... .............. ............. 1 3.2
3 to 4 dozen ................................ 5 16.1
4 to 5 dozen ...................................... 7 22.6
5 to 6 dozen ...... .. ............ ..... ...... .. 2 6.5
6 to 7 dozen .... ... ........... 1 3.2
9 to 10 dozen ..................................... 1 3.2
11 dozen or more .......... ........ .............. 5 16.1
Limes not on display ..... ....... ........ .... 1 3.2
Not ascertained .............................. 3 9.7

Total ................... ............... 31 100.0


The study revealed that three basic display techniques were
employed by food retailers in merchandising fresh limes. Among
the stores with limes on hand at the time the survey was con-






Merchandising of Li:nes and Limeade Concentrate 9

ducted, about one-third displayed them in the shipping container
and about the same proportion repackaged them for display.
In 16 percent of the stores limes were displayed loose on the
produce counter. Generally, the limes displayed had been on
hand for less than one week. In about one-fifth of the stores,
however, the limes had been on the retail counter for periods
longer than one week and up to as much as three weeks.
Life-size color photographs were employed in the study to
obtain information about the condition of fresh lime displays
in the retail stores visited. Enumerators were furnished a
photograph of three limes representative of varying degrees of
maturity and shriveling (see Figure 1, page 10). The lime
labeled "A" exemplifies an overmature fruit, partially yellow but
not shriveled. Lime "B" shows extensive shriveling and black
spots and lime "C" shows a considerable amount of shriveling
without dark discolorations. The enumerators made a percent-
age estimate of the total display which corresponded to the con-
ditions represented by Figure
In some of the displays, all of the limes were superior in
quality to those shown in Figure 1. In others, one or more of
the condition deficiencies represented in F'gure 1 were found.
Percentage estimates of the extent of the-e deficiencies within
displays ranged from a low of 10 percent t) a maximum of 80
percent.
Only one-third of the di6piays were composed entirely of
limes that would generally be regarded as good quality fruit.
That is, the displays were free -'ror condition deficiencies of
the types depicted in Figrte 1. Half of the displays contained
limes showing a considerable amount of shrivel but no dark dis-
colorations, the typical condition represented by lime "C". In
one-fourth there were limes that were beginning to turn yellow
but had not shriveled-the condition represented by lime "A".
Also, in about one-fourch of the displays there were limes that
showed both discoloration and shriveling similar to that depicted
by lime "B". Clearly, the foregoing fractions sum to more than
one. This is because ini 20 percent of the displays two or more
conditional deficiencies were present.
The frequency with which limes were obtained by retailers
from intermediary handlers varied considerably. About 25 per-
cent of the stores that had handled limes during the past two
years obtained fresh supplies once a week or more often during
the summer months. Approximately the same proportion of














: 1~""." ;-j
.:::


i

''' '
r:

i


A B C


Figure 1.-Conditional deficiencies observed in fresh lime displays. Only one-third of the retail di- ~:. o-, observed
were free of limes showing symptoms of overmaturity (A) or excessive shelf life (B and C).





























2"1










Size 175 Size 250 Size 325

Figure 2.-Preferences of retailers for size in fresh limes. The medium size lime (250) was the most preferred.







Florida Agricultral Experiment Stations


stores ordered them less frequemnly than cnce a month (Table 7).
The quantity of limes usually obtained fror wholesale suppliers
ranged from one to 23 dozen. About one out of four retailers
indicated they usually obt ined five dozen at each purchase.
Also, the 5-dozen ryck was the most coinmor size of container
in which limes were purchased a. wholesale. n ao3ut four out
of 10 cases, however, limes were purchased in 'ots of less than
five dozen.
TABLE 7.-FREQUENCY WITH WHICH FRESH LIMv'S WERE OBTAINED BY
RETAIL OUTLETS FROM INTERMEDIARY SOURCE P-URING SUMMER MONTHS.

Frequency Number Percent

Once a week or more often .................. ........ 24 25.5
Less than once a week but more often
than once a m onth ........................................ 18 19.1
Less than once a m on,h ................. ........... ...--. 23 24.5
Not ascertained ... ...... ............................ ....... 29 30.9

T otal ...................... .......- ....- ...- ......- .. 1 94 100.0


An investigation was made to determine the composition of
the retail clientele for fresh limes. In about eight out of 10
stores there was no indication that fresh limes were sold to any
extent except for home consumption. Of those stores indicating
instances of sales to other businesses, 76 percent sold primarily
to bars, taverns and other establishments that retail alcoholic
beverages. The remaining 24 percent of the retailers said that
sales to other business establishments consisted of purchases
by restaurants and drugstores. There were only three cases
where retailers estiirrted that their sales to business establish-
ments exceeded 25 percent of their total sales of limes.
Retailers were asked to express their opinion regarding the
most common unit of sale for fresh limes. Generally, limes are
purchased by the consumer in small quantities. Practically all
of the retailers indicated limes were purchased in units of six
or less. The most common units of purchase were three and
six, accounting for over half of the cases.

OPINIONS ABOUT MARKET QUALITY
Of the retailers who had merchandised fresh limes within
two years preceding the interview, two-thirds indicated that, in







Merchandising of Limes and Limeade Concentrate 13

general, limes currently marketed were of acceptable quality.
The remaining one-third were dissatisfied with the quality of
limes generally received from wholesalers or jobbers. Almost
half of the latter group expressed the opinion that limes received
at the retail level were small relative to the preference of most
consumers. Other complaints were with respect to quality char-
acteristics directly related to maturity and external appearance
(Table 8).

TABLE 8.-RETAILERS' COMPLAINTS REGARDING QUALITY OF
FRESH LIMES CURRENTLY MARKETED.

Complaint Number Percent

Too sm all -..~. .. .. ......... .. ............ .. 12 44.5
Not uniform in size .......................................... 1 3.7
T oo ripe .............. ..... .. ... .......- ...... ... ... ... .. 4 14.8
Y yellow .. .... ...... .... .. .............. ....... 2 7.4
T oo hard .. ........ ..... ..... ..... ..... 1 3.7
D ried out ....... .............. ...... .............. .. ... 1 3.7
Brow n spots ..... .. ....... .... ..... ................... 1 3.7
Too green, not good flavor ............................ 1 3.7
Poor quality (unspecified) .......................... 1 3.7
N ot ascertained ..... ....... ............................. 3 11.1

Total ................ ... .. 27 100.0


Preferences were obtained for four external quality charac-
teristics in fresh limes-size, skin color, external blemish and
maturity stage. For each of the four characteristics, retailers
who had handled fresh limes within the past two years were
shown a life-size color photograph of three limes depicting
gradations in external quality characteristics. Each retailer
was asked to make both a first and a second choice of the limes
that came closest to meeting the needs of his clientele.2

The following questions were asked with respect to each group of
photographs: I would like for you to look at the group and tell me which
one you think would be best suited to your store, assuming you could buy
all of them for the same price. Which one do you think would be second
best suited to your store?
































A B C

Figure 3.-Preferences of retailers for color in fresh limes. A majority preferred the dark green (A) over the light green (B)
or yellow (C) fruit.







Merchandising of Limes and Limeade Concentrate 13

general, limes currently marketed were of acceptable quality.
The remaining one-third were dissatisfied with the quality of
limes generally received from wholesalers or jobbers. Almost
half of the latter group expressed the opinion that limes received
at the retail level were small relative to the preference of most
consumers. Other complaints were with respect to quality char-
acteristics directly related to maturity and external appearance
(Table 8).

TABLE 8.-RETAILERS' COMPLAINTS REGARDING QUALITY OF
FRESH LIMES CURRENTLY MARKETED.

Complaint Number Percent

Too sm all .............................. ... .. ..... ..... 12 44.5
Not uniform in size ......... .............. .... 1 3.7
Too ripe ............ .............. ...- .-- ..-.- ....- 4 14.8
Y ellow ......... ... .... ......... 2 7.4
Too hard ...... ... ...... ........ .... ..... ... 1 3.7
D ried out -... ...- .. ..... ..- .- ..- .... ... 1 3.7
Brown spots ......... -................ ......... .... ... .. 1 3.7
Too green, not good flavor .......-....... ................. 1 3.7
Poor quality (unspecified) ................ ......... ... 1 3.7
N ot ascertained .. ..... ....- .... ...... ........ ..... .- 3 11.1

Total ... ... ... ... .... .... .......... .. .... .. \ 27 100.0


Preferences were obtained for four external quality charac-
teristics in fresh limes-size, skin color, external blemish and
maturity stage. For each of the four characteristics, retailers
who had handled fresh limes within the past two years were
shown a life-size color photograph of three limes depicting
gradations in external quality characteristics. Each retailer
was asked to make both a first and a second choice of the limes
that came closest to meeting the needs of his clientele.2

The following questions were asked with respect to each group of
photographs: I would like for you to look at the group and tell me which
one you think would be best suited to your store, assuming you could buy
all of them for the same price. Which one do you think would be second
best suited to your store?

































A B C

Figure 3.-Preferences of retailers for color in fresh limes. A majority preferred the dark green (A) over the light green (B)
or yellow (C) fruit.










i~l~~P-~~i;'-IT a
2z 7"






TI~~:x







------ ......
%3i


F;-L,. 4.-The reaction of retailers to external blemishes in fresh limes. Fruit c..,,t;i;,i L blemishes below the maximum allowable in
the U. S. No. 1 grade (represented by A) was generally regarded as unacceptable.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


Size.-Choices were made for limes of 175, 250 and 325 size
count (Figure 2). The first preferences were about equally
distributed between the large (175) and the medium (250)
size limes. The medium size, however, was selected as either
a first or a second choice more often than was the large size.
Almost half of the retailers selected the medium size as a second
choice, as compared with 20 percent who selected the large size.
In a majority of cases, the small size was selected as third choice
(Table 9).

TABLE 9.-PREFERENCES OF RETAIL STORE OPERATORS FOR
FRESH LIMES OF VARYING SIZE.::

Size
Prefer- Large Medium Small No Total
ence (175 count) (250 count) (325 count) Preference
No. Pct. No. Pet. No. Pet. No. Pet. No. Pet.
First
choice 37 44.6 38 45.8 6 7.2 2 2.4 83 100.0
Second
choice 17 20.5 40 48.2 22 26.5 4 4.8 83 100.0
Third
choice 27 32.5 1 1.2 51 61.5 4 4.8 83 100.0

See Figure 2.

Skin Color.-Limes of varying skin color for which pref-
erences were obtained are shown in Figure 3. A majority of
the retailers preferred the dark green lime over the light green
or the yellow-green fruit. The light green lime was chosen most
often as a second choice while the yellow-green lime was des-
ignated as third choice in a majority of the cases. Fifty-eight

TABLE 10.-PREFERENCES OF RETAIL STORE OPERATORS FOR
FRESH LIMES OF VARYING SKIN COLOR.*

Color
Pref- Dark Lig'ht Yellow- No Total
erence Green Green Green Preference
No. Pet. No. Pet. No. Pet. No. Pet. No. Pet.
First
choice 48 57.8 25 30.1 8 9.7 2 2.4 83 100.0
Second
choice 14 16.9 50 60.2 10 12.1 9 10.8 83 100.0
Third
choice 16 19.3 2 2.4 56 67.5 9 10.8 83 100.0

*See Fiiure 3.







Merchandising of Limes and Limeade Concentrate 17

percent selected the dark green fruit as first choice, 60 percent
selected the light green as second choice and 68 percent selected
the yellow-green lime as third choice (Table 10).
External Blemish.-The three limes in Figure 4 depict fruit
that would normally be graded as minimum U. S. No. 1 scar
(lime "A"), minimum U. S. No. 2 scar (lime "B") and cull
(lime "C"). Among those retailers expressing a first choice,
limes of the appearance typified by "A" were selected in 72 per-
cent of the cases. Nineteen percent, however, did not make a
first choice because all three fruit were regarded as unacceptable
in appearance. In those instances where second and third pref-
erences were obtained, 60 percent selected lime "B" as second
choice and 66 percent selected lime "C" as third choice (Table 11).

TABLE 11.-PREFERENCES OF RETAIL STORE OPERATORS FOR
FRESH LIMES OF VARYING DEGREE OF SKIN BLEMISH.*

Photograph
A B C
Pref- Minimum Minimum All Total
erence U. S. No. 1 U. S. No. 2 Cull Unaccept-
Scar Scar able
No. Pet. No. Pet. No. Pet. No. Pet. No. Pet.

First
choice 60 72.3 7 8.4 0 16 19.3 83 100.0
Second
choice 5 6.0 50 60.3 2 2.4 26 31.3 83 100.0
Third
choice 1 1.2 1 1.2 55 66.3 26 31.3 83 100.0

SSee Fijure 1.

Maturity Stage and Shrivel.-Three conditions of overmature
limes are shown in Figure 5. "A" depicts an overmature lime
that is partially yellow, while lime "B" shows considerable shriv-
eling and lime "C" shows both shrivel and dark discolorations.
Almost half of the retailers did not express a first choice for
any of these three limes, since they regarded all of them as un-
acceptable from the standpoint of their clientele. An even higher
proportion failed to make a second or third choice. Among those
expressing a choice, the order of preference was "A" first, "B"
second and "C" third. That is, the number selecting "B" as
second choice was larger than the number selecting "A" or
"C", whereas "C" was selected as third choice more than "A"
or "B" (Table 12). Generally, however, all of the limes shown

























;s ; :i
~~
c. :.~
:. 'II.

~:I I':~"

1 i
i

.1.:
~ ...


Figure 5.-Retailer opinions regarding overmaturity and shriveling. Only half thought that lime A was salable. Few thought that their
customers would buy either of the other two limes shown.


~:~







Merchandising of Limnes and Limcade Co center ate 19

in Figure 5 were well below the quality level that retailers re-
garded as the minimum for their merchandising operations.

TABLE 12.-PREFERENCES OF RETAIL STORE OPERATORS FOR FRESH LIMES
OF VARYINc DEGREES OF MATURITY STAGE AND SHRIVEL.:

Photograph
Pref- All Total
erence A:z B C Unaccept-
able
No. Pet. No. Pet. No. Pet. No. Pet. No. Pet.

First
choice 33 3i.3 10 11. 1 1.2 40 47.6 84 100.0
Second
choice 6 7.1 25 29.8 4 4.8 49 58.3 84 100.0
Third
choice 2 2.4 3 3. 30 :35.7 49 58.3 84 100.0

See Figure i .
Lime "A" typifieS fruit co-nilertel li rely salable. \wheieas bolth "B" and "C" wCere
iu- idered iunalable.

OPERATIONAL DIFFICULTIES IN MARKETING
In a majority of the stores, the management had encountered
no appreciable difficulties in obtaining adequate supplies of limes
from wholesale sources. Among the stores that had handled
limes at some time during the past two years, less than a third
reported instances when they were unable to obtain adequate
supplies. A sizable proportion of this number consisted of chain
store managers, where the reference to nonavailability was to
central receiving and issuing activities of the parent firm. Hence,
the fact that limes were not handled at certain times by chain
organizations may have been a result of decisions, based on con-
siderations other than availability, by management personnel
above the retail store level.
For a specialty and perishable commodity, the size of whole-
sale containers is an important consideration from the stand-
point of both retailing and wholesaling operations. This prob-
lem is currently recognized by growers and handlers in Florida.
Substantial effort has been devoted to the development of ship-
ping containers designed to conform with the requirements of
the wholesaling and retailing trade.
In this study, retailers who had handled limes at some time
during the preceding two years were asked to express their
opinion regarding sizes of containers currently being used.
About 8 out of 10 of those interviewed said the sizes of whole-







20 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

sale packs currently used were satisfactory relative to their
volume of sales. The one-fifth of the retailers expressing dis-
satisfaction with the sizes of wholesale packs unanimously
thought they were too large. Moreover, all except two of this
group usually purchased limes in quantities of twelve dozen
or less.
All of the 94 retailers who had handled limes during the past
two years were asked to suggest ways to improve either the
pack or the container for limes. Thirty-five of these offered
suggestions covering a wide variety of ideas. About 40 percent
of the suggestions advanced were related in some fashion to
prepackaging limes. These were about equally divided between
retailers who would like to obtain prepackaged limes and those
who would like to see improvements in the current method of
packaging. A desire for a stronger container was expressed

TABLE 13.-RETAILERS' SUGGESTIONS REGARDING IMPROVEMENTS IN
TYPE OF CONTAINER AND MANNER OF PACKING FRESH LIMES.

Suggestion Number Percent*

Smaller wholesale pack ..... ...... ....... ..... 10 28.5
Larger wholesale pack ................ ................ ... I 1 2.9
Smaller retail pack ...................... .... ..... ... 1 i 2.9
Stronger cardboard cartons to prevent bruising .... 4 11.4
Cardboard cartons to provide sufficient ventilation 1 2.9
Cardboard cartons more attractive
for display purposes .............................. 2 5.7
Would prefer more use of prepacks ................... 5 14.3
Would prefer more use of bulk ......... ..... 3 8.5
Prepack in vacuum container .................. 1 2.9
Provide plastic bags for prepacks ...................... 17.1
Provide prepacks that customer can see more of fruit 2 5.7
Limes packaged are not of uniform quality ....... 1 2.9
Place literature in wholesale or retail pack
concerning new ways to use limes .............. 1 2.9
Number of respondents ......................... 35

Percentages do not add to 100 because of multiple suggestions by some respondents.
** Reflects unfamiliarity with product.






Merchandising of Limes and Limeade Concentrate 21

by 11 percent. Suggestions related to the use of smaller con-
tainers were advanced by 28 percent (Table 13).
Over two-thirds of the stores that handled fresh limes re-
ported losses as a result of spoilage. This group included 80
percent of the chain stores and 60 percent of the independently
operated stores. Practically all of the stores reporting losses
as a result of spoilage indicated that they usually made some
of their lime sales at reduced or mark-down prices. In many
instances, mark-down sales accounted for a substantial share
of the total quantity of limes which retailers sold. About half
of the retailers who sold limes at mark-down prices indicated
that the quantity sold under these circumstances ranged from
25 to 50 percent of their total sales volume.

FROZEN LIMEADE CONCENTRATE
RETAIL AVAILABILITY
A wider retail distribution exists for frozen limeade concen-
trate than for fresh limes. Out of all the stores visited in both
market areas, 42 percent either had limeade concentrate avail-
able at the time of interview or had handled it at some time
during the past year (Table 14). In comparison, only 29 per-
TABLE 14.-THE AVAILABILITY OF FROZEN LIMEADE CONCENTRATE
AT THE RETAIL LEVEL.
Number
Availability of Stores Percent

Available at time of interview ...................... ...... i 82 31.8
Not available at time of interview but
handled during past year ................................... 27 10.5
Not handled during past year .............................. 149 57.7

Total .. ..... .................................. .. 258 100.0


cent of the stores had fresh limes on hand at the time of inter-
view or had handled them at some time during the preceding
summer.
The retail availability of frozen concentrated limeade, how-
ever, was substantially lower than that of frozen concentrated
lemonade. At the time of the study almost 70 percent of the
stores visited had frozen lemonade concentrate on hand, whereas
only 32 percent of the stores had frozen limeade concentrate
available.







Florida .A4,; i;,:l ral Experiment Stations


Generally, retail stores tend to handle either both fresh limes
and frozen limeade concentrate or neither of these products.
Among the stores that had not handled the concentrate the pre-
ceding year, 87 percent had not handled fresh limes in the preced-
ing two years. Three-fourths of the stores having displays of
concentrate had handled fresh limes at some time during the past
two years (Table 15).

TABLE 15.-RELATION BETWEEN THE RETAIL AVAILABILITY OF FRESH
LIMES AND THE RETAIL AVAILABILITY OF FROZEN LIMEADE CONCENTRATE.


Availability of Concentrate


Availability of
Fresh Limes



Available at time
of interview ........
Not available at time
of interview but
handled during
summer 1958 .......
Not handled during 1958
but during summer
of 1957 ......................

Not handled during two
years preceding
the interview ..........


Total .............. .......


Available at
Time of
Interview

No. Pct.


26 31.7



26 31.7


9 11.0


21 25.6


82 100.0


Not Available I
at Time of
Interview but
During Past
Year
No. Pet.


3 11.1



7 25.9


3


14
14


11.1


51.9


100.0 149 100.0


In practically all of the chain stores limeade concentrate
either was available at the time of interview or had been avail-
able during the preceding summer. This was true in less than
half of the stores that were independently operated (Table 16).
Stores located in the high-income areas of the two markets
were more likely to have the concentrate available than were
those located in low-income areas. About 7 out of 10 stores in
the high-income areas either had the product available at the
time of interview or had handled it during the past summer.
Comparable availability was found in only 25 percent of the
stores in low-income areas (Table 17). Frozen limeade concen-
trate was also found to be more available in stores located in areas


Not Handled
During Past
Year


2 1.3



10 6.7


8 5.4







Merchandising of Limes and Limeade Concentrate 23


of predominantly white residents than in those areas in which
the residents were mostly nonwhite.

TABLE 16.-RELATION BETWEEN AVAILABILITY OF FROZEN LIMEADE
CONCENTRATE AT THE RETAIL LEVEL AND TYPE OF STORE.


Availability of
Concentrate


Inde-
pendent
No. Pet.


Type of Store
Delica-
Chain tessen
No. Pet. No. Pet.


Available at time
of interview .... 45 23.8 31 83.8 4 13.3 2 100.0

Not available at
time of inter-
view but handled
during past year 20 10.6 4 10.8 3 10.0

Not handled during
past year ......... 124 65.6 2 5.4 23 76.7 -


Total


... 189 100.0


37 100.0 30 100.0


2 100.0


Limeade concentrate was handled on a 12-month basis in a
larger proportion of the stores than was the case for fresh limes.
Only in about a fourth of the stores that handled the product
was there an indication that it was stocked only during certain
months of the year. Among this group, the product was gen-
erally handled during the summer months.

TABLE 17.-RELATION BETWEEN THE AVAILABILITY OF FROZEN LIMEADE
CONCENTRATE AT THE RETAIL LEVEL AND THE ECONOMIC STATUS OF
AREA OF STORE LOCATION.


Availability of
Concentrate


Available at time
of interview ......

Not available at time
of interview but
handled during
past year ........

Not handled during
past year .........


Total ...............


Low
Income
No. Pet.


Economic Status of Area
Medium High
Income Income
No. Pet. No. Pet.


Not
Ascertained
No. Pet.


15 15.2 19 24.7 39 63.9 9 42.9



11 11.1 11 14.3 3 4.9 2 9.5


73 73.7 47 61.0 19 31.2 10 47.6


99 100.0 770.0 77 0.0 61 100.0 21 100.0
__ JJ__


Fruit or
Veg. Market
No. Pet.






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


A lack of consumer demand for the product was the major
reason given for not handling frozen concentrated limeade. In
almost two-thirds of the stores where limeade concentrate had
not been stocked in the past year, the retailer specified that the
level of demand did not warrant handling the product. About
19 percent had no facilities for keeping frozen foods. An addi-
tional 8 percent said that they could not afford to devote freezer
space to this product (Table 18).

TABLE 18.-REASONS GIVEN BY RETAIL STORE OPERATORS FOR
NOT HANDLING FROZEN LIMEADE CONCENTRATE.
Number
Reason of Stores Percent

No demand (unspecified) -- ..... -..-.......... ........... 78 52.4
No demand due to clientele of store ....... ...-.... .. 18 12.1
Demand not great enough to receive profit ....... 3 2.0
Customers prefer other processed lime products .- 1 0.7
No demand due to season ............... ..... ....- -2 1.3
Not available from intermediary handler
or wholesaler .......... ..- ....- ~.~.......... .... 2 1.3
Insufficient freezer space .....................--................. 12 8.0
No facilities for keeping frozen foods ..-... ....--- 28 18.8
Due to competition of chain stores -.................- ...- 1 0.7
O their ........... ........ .... ... .......... .... ...- ..... 3 2.0
N ot ascertained ............ ...... ..... ..... .... .. ... 1 0.7

Total .............................. ..- .... ... ..... 149 100.0


MERCHANDISING PRACTICES

Most of the stores that were handling frozen limeade con-
centrate at the time of the study carried relatively small inven-
tories and maintained small displays in their frozen food cases.
Among the stores where information was obtained about quanti-
ties on hand, almost 80 percent had retail displays of less than
three dozen cans. Displays consisting of one row or less in a
refrigerated case were found in 77 percent of the stores. In
comparison, displays of frozen lemonade concentrate that oc-
cupied one row or less in the frozen food case were found in 50
percent of the stores. Only 4 percent of the frozen limeade







Merchandising of Limes and Limeade Concentrate 25

concentrate displays occupied more than three rows in the frozen
food display case, while 26 percent of the lemonade concentrate
displays were larger than three rows. With the exception of
one store handling both 6- and 12-ounce sizes, the retail displays
of frozen limeade concentrate consisted entirely of 6-ounce cans.
On the other hand, 36 percent of the retail stores handling frozen
lemonade concentrate in 6-ounce cans also maintained displays
of this product in 12-ounce cans.
For both frozen limeade and lemonade concentrate, the pricing
units employed in retail stores generally involved either one or
two cans. Single cans were the pricing unit employed for 46
percent of the limeade displays and for 60 percent of the frozen
lemonade concentrate displays. Pricing units involving two cans
were employed for 40 percent of the frozen limeade concentrate
displays but for only 21 percent of the frozen lemonade concen-
trate displays. However, no retailer priced frozen limeade con-
centrate in units of more than three cans, while 16 percent of
the stores priced frozen lemonade concentrate in units ranging
from three to six cans (Tables 19 and 20).

TABLE 19.-UNIT OF SALE AND PRICE OF FROZEN LIMEADE
CONCENTRATE IN 6-01ONCE CANS.

Unit of Sale Unit Number Percent
(No. of Cans) Selling Price of Stores
1 ... ... ........... .. $0.1 20 24.4
1 .... ..... .......... 0.20 18 22.0
2 .. ..... 0.25 21 25.6
2 ..0.30 12 14.6
3 .. ... .. ..... .. .49 1 1.2
Not ascertained ........ -10 12.2

Total .... ..82 100.0


In practically all cases, a single can was employed as the
pricing unit for 12-ounce cans of frozen lemonade concentrate.
Retail prices for frozen lemonade concentrate were generally
lower than those for frozen limeade concentrate. The most com-
mon price encountered for single cans of frozen lemonade con-
centrate was 3 cents below the lowest price at which frozen
limeade concentrate was sold in single units. With few excep-






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


tions, the retail prices employed in selling frozen lemonade con-
centrate in multiple units were substantially below those for
frozen limeade concentrate.

TABLE 20.-UNIT OF SALE AND PRICE OF FROZEN LEMONADE
CONCENTRATE IN 6-OUNCE CANS.


Unit of Sale
(No. of Cans)

1 .................

1 ..................

1 ........- ......




2 ...... .. ...
2 ... ... .. ...

3 ..-- --

3 -.....-

4 .. .. .. ..- -

6 ........ ...

Not ascertained


Total ....... ..


Unit
Selling Price

$0.10

0.20

0.30

0.19

0.23

0.33

0.33

0.41

0.49

0.65


Number
of Stores

88

17

1

1

30

6

16

2

9

2


Percent


49.4

9.6

0.5

0.5

16.9

3.4

9.0

1.1

5.1

1.1


G I


178


100.0


EVALUATION OF FINDINGS

In the preceding sections of this report, an attempt has been
made to describe the market status of fresh limes and frozen
limeade concentrate in retail store operations. Several salient
points emerge that are of fundamental importance to growers
and shippers of limes in Florida, and which deserve further con-
sideration.
Neither fresh limes nor frozen limeade concentrate receives
wide retail distribution. Fresh limes were normally handled by
29 percent of the retail stores while frozen limeade concentrate
was usually stocked by 42 percent. In the main, fresh limes and
frozen limeade concentrate were found only in units of chain
food organizations and in the largest independent food stores,
both of which characteristically serve a large clientele. Smaller
retailing units, carrying high-volume items primarily, could not






Merchandising of Limes and Limeade Concentrate 27

afford to devote time and space to the products because of low
sales expectations.
Even in the larger retailing establishments where the prod-
ucts were handled, the displays of both fresh limes and frozen
limeade concentrate were maintained at levels approaching the
minimum, indicating that they are regarded more as an accom-
modation item than as one contributing substantially to gross
sales volume.
The problem of broadening the market for fresh limes and
frozen limeade concentrate resolves into two components: (a)
inducing consumers to use more of these products through vari-
ous types of activities designed to appeal directly to them, and
(b) increasing consumer interest and consumption indirectly
through wider retail distribution and by getting retailers to em-
phasize these products in their operations. While the former is
outside the scope of this study, certain of the findings do suggest
means by which the market for limes may be strengthened in-
directly through the retail food store operator or manager.
Improvement in retail distribution and, perhaps, the genera-
tion of interest on the part of retailers to the end of increasing
point-of-sale merchandising activity may be accomplished by
conforming more closely to the quality levels which retailers re-
gard as desirable in fresh limes. About a third of the retailers
questioned during the study felt that the initial quality of the
limes which they obtained from wholesale supply sources was
unsatisfactory.
Many of the complaints about quality related to the fact
that limes were too small. Visual techniques were employed in
the study to determine specifically what retailers regarded as
desirable sizes for their operations. The results verified the
stated preference for larger sizes, but also indicated that retailers
do not always regard the very largest fruit as the most desirable.
In a direct comparison of size 175 and 250 fruit, a majority of
the retailers picked the 250 size as the optimum for their opera-
tions. Almost none of the retailers thought, however, that fruit
as small as size 325 would be satisfactory for their operations.
Hence, the study results suggest that retailers are interested in
obtaining comparatively large fruit, but not necessarily the very
largest sizes which can be grown.
Reactions to variations in other physical attributes of fresh
limes provide additional indications of how relations with re-
tailers might be improved. Generally speaking, retailers regard






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


external blemishes in fruit as particularly objectionable. Many
thought that scab and scar defects, even to the extent permis-
sible under the minimum U. S. No. 1 grade, were unsatisfactory
from the standpoint of their customers. Fruit showing such
defects to the extent permissible under the U. S. No. 2 or cull
grades was regarded as entirely unacceptable. Overmaturity
or shriveling was also regarded as an objectionable characteristic
of fresh limes. Limes showing shriveling or dark discoloration
were regarded as unacceptable merchandise in almost all in-
stances.
Retailers were somewhat less discriminating with respect to
the color of fruit than with other appearance factors. While
most regarded dark green limes as the best, a substantial num-
ber thought that fruit of light green color would be acceptable
to their clientele. Very few thought, however, that their custo-
mers were interested in buying fruit showing yellow color to
any appreciable extent.
Most Florida limes apparently meet the requirements of the
retail trade regarding color. On the basis of reactions of re-
tailers, however, a re-examination of standards for external
blemishes would seem in order. Efforts to avoid shipping over-
mature fruit appear to be another way to increase the interest
of the retailer in fresh limes. Industry groups also might wish
to investigate the extent to which the distribution problem is
related to the size of fruit shipped. The movement of the
smaller sizes into distribution channels is regarded as particu-
larly objectionable by retailers.
The development of packages conforming more closely to
the requirements of retailers is another method by which the
distribution of fresh limes might be improved. Many retailers
regarded the minimum wholesale quantities in which limes could
be bought as excessively large in relation to sales rates for this
product.
Even though limes can be obtained at present in wholesale
units that are comparatively small, it would seem advisable to
consider the feasibility of further subdivisions. While the use
of smaller wholesale containers would probably result in higher
unit packaging costs, the effect on the market may prove to be
more than offsetting. Smaller containers may permit a larger
number of retailers to stock fresh limes, thereby increasing the
retail distribution of this product.






Merchandising of Limes and Limeade Concentrate 29

The use of smaller containers may partially solve the prob-
lem of maintaining adequate quality levels in retail displays of
fresh limes. A major part of the problem of quality maintenance
apparently arises from the low turnover rates caused by the use
of large wholesale containers. The ultimate effects of low turn-
over rates are a gradual deterioration in the quality level of
retail displays and an accompanying reduction in consumer ac-
ceptance. As a result, market opportunities for fresh limes are
lost even though, technically, the product is available to the
consumer.
The validity of the contention of retailers regarding the need
for a smaller wholesale package is strongly supported by the
condition of limes found on display counters. Only one-third of
the fresh displays were free from decayed, discolored or shriveled
limes. The quantities of limes showing symptoms of excessive
age in the retail displays ran as high as 80 percent. Situations
where 10 percent of the limes in a display showed symptoms of a
prolonged shelf life were common.
Owing to the minor role which they occupy in the normal re-
tailing operation, steps designed to make it more convenient for
the retailer to handle limes is another approach which the in-
dustry in Florida might well consider. When questioned about
how packages could be improved, about half of the retailers gave
suggestions related to the convenience of handling fresh limes at
retail. Most proposed that limes be prepackaged at some point in
the distribution system before they reached the retail level.
Many suggested that the wholesale carton for fresh limes be
more attractive. This would seem to be a particularly relevant
proposal since in one-third of the retail displays observed fresh
limes were displayed in the shipping container.
The possibilities of increasing the market for frozen limeade
concentrate through indirect appeals to the retailer appear some-
what more limited than is the case for fresh limes. Roughly
two-thirds of the retailers who did not handle frozen limeade
concentrate failed to do so because they thought that the market
for it was too limited. Since the cost of maintaining a display
of a frozen food item is substantially higher than that for most
other products in a retail food store, it appears unlikely that
many retailers can be induced to stock frozen limeade concen-
trate unless the industry can develop a broader market base.
Making it operationally easy or convenient to handle frozen lime-
ade concentrate offers little possibility. Distribution techniques






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


for this product are practically identical to those of other frozen
foods and juices. The basic difficulty stems from the fact that
retailers cannot justify devoting space to this item in the opti-
mum allocation of the total space which they have available for
frozen foods. The reason that they cannot is directly related to
their small sales expectations.
It is, of course, possible that sales of frozen limeade concen-
trate could be increased through the use of larger display areas
and more imaginative merchandising techniques on the part of
store managers. Information obtained in this study on pricing
techniques and price levels indicates that retailers have little
interest in frozen limeade concentrate as a volume item. The
use of multiple pricing units that might stimulate sales was much
more common for frozen lemonade concentrate than for frozen
limeade concentrate. In addition, retail prices for frozen lime-
ade concentrate were substantially higher than prices for the
comparable lemon product. One approach that might be tried
by the Florida lime industry is suggested by this situation. The
industry might instigate research designed to explore the mar-
ket potential of frozen limeade concentrate under conditions of
more intensive merchandising activity and through the use of
larger displays. Conclusive evidence in favor of such activities
would encourage retailers to modify their operations and give
more space and attention to this product.
Approximately one-fifth of the retail stores visited did not
have frozen food facilities, most of which were small volume op-
erations. In such cases, the position of frozen limeade concen-
trate is analogous to that of any other frozen food product-
the extent of retail distribution has absolute limits which cannot
be exceeded until a larger number of retail outlets invest in fa-
cilities and equipment required for the handling of frozen foods.

SUMMARY
In September 1958 a sample of 258 retail food establishments
in the Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio, market areas was visited to
observe current merchandising methods and procedures for fresh
limes and frozen limeade concentrate and to ascertain the extent
to which the products are available at the retail level. At the
same time, store management personnel were interviewed to de-
termine what retailers regard as quality in fresh limes and the
operational difficulties encountered by retailers in marketing
fresh limes.






Merchandising of Limes and Limeade Concentrate 31

The following is a recapitulation of the salient findings of
the study.
Availability.-Neither fresh limes nor frozen limeade con-
centrate enjoys a wide retail distribution. In many instances
both products were regarded by retailers as only an accommo-
dation item. Fresh limes and frozen concentrate were found to
be most available in chain store supermarkets and in stores
located in areas of predominantly high-income families. The
retail availability of fresh lemons and frozen lemonade concen-
trate was substantially higher than that of the comparable lime
products.
Merchandising Methods and Procedures.-Stores handling
fresh limes and frozen limeade concentrate maintained relatively
small inventories. Sixty percent had display quantities of less
than five dozen fresh limes and 80 percent had less than three
dozen cans of the frozen product. The most common units of
sale encountered for fresh limes were three and six fruit, while
for the frozen concentrate the unit of sale was generally one or
two cans. Retail prices observed for fresh lemons and frozen
lemonade concentrate were generally lower than those for the
comparable lime products. Only a third of the fresh lime dis-
plays were found to be completely free from conditional defi-
ciencies involving shriveling and discoloration. The percentage
estimates of the extent of these quality deficiencies in individual
displays ranged from a low of 10 percent to a maximum of 80
percent.
Opinions About Quality.-About a third of the retailers ex-
pressed dissatisfaction with the quality of limes generally re-
ceived from their supply sources. Many thought the size of
limes received was small relative to the preference of most con-
sumers. The first preferences of retailers for limes of varying
size were about equally distributed between large (175) and
medium (250) size fruit. A majority of the retailers preferred
a dark green lime over a light green or a yellow-green fruit. Gen-
erally, retailers regarded external skin blemishes as objection-
able from the standpoint of their customers. Scab and scar
defects, even to the extent permissible under the minimum U. S.
No. 1 grade, were regarded as unsatisfactory. Overmaturity
or shriveling also was thought to be a particularly objectionable
characteristic of fresh limes.
Operational Difficulties Encountered.-For the most part,
management personnel reported little difficulty in obtaining limes






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


from wholesale sources. Less than a third reported instances
when they were unable to obtain adequate supplies. About 80
percent were of the opinion that the sizes of wholesale packs were
satisfactory. However, those expressing dissatisfaction were
unanimous in the opinion that wholesale packs currently used
were too large relative to their sales volume. A wide variety
of ideas was advanced by retailers in suggesting ways to im-
prove either the pack or the container for limes. Many of the
suggestions were related in some fashion to prepackaging or
to the use of stronger containers. In practically all cases, re-
tailers reported losses of limes as a result of spoilage. In many
instances, mark-down sales accounted for a substantial share of
the total quantity of limes which retailers sold.
Evaluation.-An examination of the market status for Flor-
ida limes reveals several important points that may be useful
in the formulation of improved marketing practices and policies.
The study results suggest the need for marketing fruit con-
forming more closely to the quality levels which retailers regard
as desirable from the standpoint of their clientele. It would
also appear advantageous for the industry to examine the extent
to which problems of distribution and quality maintenance are
related to the size of wholesale containers and methods of pack.
Owing to the present small sales expectations of frozen limeade
concentrate, retailers are likely to show little interest in this
product until a broader market base is developed.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors wish to express their appreciation to the 1955-56 Lime
Administrative Committee for its financial support of this work, and to
Mr. David M. Biggar, Manager of the Committee, for his assistance in the
formative stages of the study.
Much credit is also due Mr. Ralph Sneeringer, Head, University of
Florida Photo Service, for his advice and assistance in the preparation of
the visual materials employed in certain phases of the investigation.




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs