Monday, Jun 10 2013 03:41 PM

Goodbye Cuties, hello Halos

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Cuties are ready for packaging at the new Cutie processing plant in Delano.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Cuties are rolled into a processing line at a Cutie processing plant in Bakersfield in this November 2012 file photo.

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Cuties are out and Halos are in at Paramount Citrus, one of Kern County's largest agricultural operations.

The change is mostly semantic: The local division of Los Angeles-based Roll Global LLC will be growing, selling and shipping the very same product -- a small, sweet, easy-to-peel mandarin that has surged in popularity in recent years.

But earlier this spring, Paramount split with its Cuties partner, Pasadena-based Sun Pacific Marketing Cooperative Inc. Under the separation agreement, Sun Pacific kept the Cuties name and Paramount's creative types in Southern California went to work on a new moniker.

Halos -- Wonderful Halos, officially -- join Paramount's other heavily marketed brands, including Wonderful Pistachios, Wonderful Almonds and POM Wonderful.

In preparation for the start of Halos season in November, Paramount stated that it is planning a campaign that includes advertising on television, print, online, trade and outdoor advertising, free-standing inserts, point-of-sale displays, retailer promotions, consumer events and public relations activities.

The fruit is to be sold in three- and five-pound bags or five-pound boxes featuring, according to a company news release, a mandarin mascot "innocently gazing up at its halo" against a light blue background.

"This is the perfect snack for parents and their little angels," Paramount Citrus President David Krause said in the release.

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