VALENCIA, CALIF. - Sunkist Growers is using its virtual booth at United Fresh Live! to share a preview of Sunkist Island, a virtual world that calls the popular Nintendo video game Animal Crossing: New Horizons home. 

The interactive virtual island simulates a California orange grove with educational touchpoints on in-season Valencia oranges. Sunkist Island also offers citrus-themed activities such as scavenger hunts for tools to “grow” virtual orange groves and a store filled with customer apparel. 

“With everything going virtual these days, we are welcoming visitors to explore our sunny California groves in Animal Crossing from the comfort of their own homes,” said Christina Ward, director of global brand marketing at Sunkist Growers.  “The fun virtual space fosters a sense of sharing, which is fundamental to our brand and cooperative, and is a fun way to educate consumers on California-grown Valencia oranges.” 

Since the release of New Horizons in March, the newest game in the Animal Crossing franchise has over 13 million registered users. New Horizons is also Nintendo’s fastest selling game for the company’s Nintendo Switch console, selling 11.8 million copies in its first 11 days of sale. 

“While we may all be physically apart, Sunkist is looking to bring people together virtually to share moments, share memories, and enjoy the sense of community that is fundamental to our brand and how we grow,” Ward said. 

At Sunkist’s United Fresh Live! booth, the company is celebrating Valencia oranges, grapefruit and lemons. To support the citrus category, Sunkist recently launched ready-to-go summer citrus programs with point-of sale, merchandising and marketing materials, as well as display bins.