Why Citrus America selected to partner with
Citrocasa more than a decade ago.
In 2010, Brian Framson, the co-founder of Citrus America, was visiting his parents in Florida on a trip from Vienna, Austria. He found that it was easier to get a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice in Vienna than in Florida – the largest orange producer in the United States. As both an entrepreneur and a long-time corporate employee, Brian saw an opportunity to better serve the North American juice market.
Brian spoke with his father and co-founder, Ron Framson, in June 2010. Over the next few weeks, Ron traversed Florida in search of juicing equipment but was often confronted with dirty, broken-down equipment and frustrated operators who were not making fresh juice. After more research, they determined there were 5 main causes for the failed juicing programs they encountered.
TOP 5 REASONS FOUND FOR FAILING JUICE PROGRAMS
- Poor equipment with high frequency breakage points
- Weak technical support
- Lack of employee training
- Dirty/non-hygienic juicing equipment
- Inconsistent fruit supply
The US market was clearly being underserved both by equipment companies in this segment as well as fruit supply companies. They both knew that if they couldn’t address these issues, then any juice programs they tried to start would most likely fail. The situation presented a huge market opportunity but also raised concerns that no juicing equipment could stand up to the heavy demands of the US market. They began their due diligence on the segment to determine what sort of requirements would need to be met in order to be successful in this segment across the United States and Canada.
A large segment of consumers clearly wanted fresh juice. The trade (ie. grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, etc.) was unable or unwilling to give it to them due to the many issues and challenges presented. If Citrus America was going to help satisfy the cravings of the consumer while helping business customers earn Healthy Profits from Juicing, then it would need to ensure they were the absolute leader in quality and reliability in the on-demand, commercial citrus juicing segment.
After going to various international trade shows, speaking with multiple companies, and experimenting with its own testing in 2010, Ron & Brian determined the Citrocasa citrus juicers had what it takes to bring fresh juice to a new level in North America. Their focus, from the very start, was to work with the leading equipment company and develop their own strategy focused on the Top 10 items below. They determined these items were absolutely critical for a successful juicing program.
TOP 10 CRITICAL ITEMS FOR SUPPORTING SUCCESSFUL JUICING PROGRAMS
- Intelligent Equipment Designs
- Highest Quality Materials Used on Equipment
- Highest Hygiene Levels
- Best Tasting Juice Produced
- Highest Speeds for On-Demand Juicing
- Fewest Parts for Faster Equipment Cleaning
- Constant Stream of Innovation in Equipment, Training, and Merchandising
- A Proven Commitment to Continuous Improvement & Quality
- Industry-leading Training & Support
- Work With People with the Highest Integrity Levels
Brian’s personal career experience covered years of global manufacturing companies in the automotive, FMCG, and packaging segments. Ron’s experience had always been in small business and providing a high degree of tailored services in the retail and business travel segment. After significant testing and analysis, they determined that Citrocasa would fit their needs and satisfy the most demanding large corporate customers in the grocery, hotel, bar & restaurant, and contract catering segments.
They co-founded Citrus America, Inc. in January 2011 to bring the highest quality commercial citrus juicer to the market. Their vision was to change the way American’s drink and enjoy fresh orange juice and to set a new standard for equipment quality and service in the segment. Their vision was based on supplying the best commercial equipment possible, providing outstanding training, and supporting the equipment with a strong commitment to quality and integrity.
Citrus America: It's a New Day for Juicing – 2013
Mr. Pichler, Citrocasa’s founder and chief developer, shared this vision but warned Brian from the earliest days that his initial hurdle was overcoming the bad reputation the industry had for quality. Globally, many customers had negative experiences with automatic citrus juicers. The struggle, in the initial stages, would be to overcome these reputational issues driven by bad equipment, poor service, and a lack of professionality.
After just a few months in the market, Citrus America started to push the concept “It’s A New Day for Juicing”. In an effort to overcome the past bad reputation of commercial citrus juicing this marketing strategy highlighted the positive aspects of fresh citrus juicing and the features that Citrocasa innovated. Likewise, it addressed the myriad issues faced by end users and the solutions brought to the segment by Citrocasa.
THE HISTORY OF CITROCASA – WHY CITROCASA EXISTS
When Citrus America started trials with Citrocasa, back in 2010, Citrus America did not even exist yet. The founders had only a small notion of what could be achieved. Citrocasa itself, as a brand, had itself only existed since 2005.
TMP GmbH (now known as Citrocasa GmbH), an Austrian company, was distributing Zumex equipment in Germany, Austria, and other Central European markets. Mr. Joseph Pichler, TMP’s founder, had already made a lot of highly innovative design changes to the Zumex juicers his company was importing into Austria. Despite these engineering changes TMP still demanded even more improvements to make the juicers more reliable, more hygienic, and to enable them to produce the highest quality citrus juice.
Per Pichler, the German authorities, in pre-2005, were highly concerned about the hygiene standards they saw in the market and the high degree of plastics being used in critical areas on the existing equipment. Mr. Pichler set out to develop the best possible commercial juicer he could deliver to grocery stores and hotels: his largest customers. Pichler knew he would have to greatly increase the amount of food grade stainless steel being used on his newly designed citrus press and he knew he would have to use high density co-polymers where plastic parts were required. He also knew he was going to have to come up with some highly intelligent designs. This is exactly what he did.
As Mr. Pichler explained to Brian in their first meetings in 2010, TMP GmbH had met with many different companies from Spain, Italy, France, as well as different countries in Asia. Nobody was able or willing to produce the superior citrus squeezer he envisioned. At that point, Mr. Pichler decided, along with his team, to design the best commercial citrus juicer available anywhere in the world, while still being commercially viable. By 2005, his team had developed a line of juicers, the 6000, 7000, and 8000 Series, that would set an entirely new standard for the juicing industry.
In addition to the normal CE, UL, and NSF standards and certifications, TMP GmbH also obtained additional (ISEGA) certifications documenting that there was minimal migration of any plastics or metals into the juice. Any fresh juice coming from a Citrocasa juicer went above and beyond any standards set by the German and Austrian regulatory bodies.
TMP did additional benchmarking to show that their patented Up&Down Soft Cut System dramatically reduced the amount of peel contamination into the juice. Extensive testing was performed comparing the Up&Down SCS system and static stationary knives.
Finally, when Citrus America got more involved in 2011, it started to demand fact-based quality benchmarking. Citrus America wanted to be able to show that “Total Cost of Ownership” was
Cost Benchmarking Citrocasa versus Leading Brand from 2011 Analysis
lower on a Citrocasa juicer than on any of the competitor juicers. The benchmarking performed clearly showed that parts consumption was reduced by more than 70% compared to the leading citrus juice competitor. Additionally, with less breakage, improvements in machine downtime, lost revenue, trip charges, labor for repair, as well as fewer disappointed customers are major factors to be considered. TMP GmbH was still servicing and supporting other commercial juicing equipment across their markets so it had current data coming from real customers across Germany, Austria, and other parts of Europe in order to provide accurate data.
By dramatically improving the quality of materials being used, improving many design features, including very robust engineering, and adding in the Up&Down Soft Cut System (SCS), TMP GmH created a juicer that:
- dramatically improved the taste profile of the orange juice,
- increased the juice purity being squeezed,
- set new standards for juice hygiene,
- increased juicing speeds,
- reduced cleaning times,
- increased cleaning effectiveness, and
- dramatically increased equipment reliability and durability.
CITROCASA’S ORIGINAL LINE OF CITRUS SQUEEZERS
By the end of 2006, Citrocasa had launched its complete line of first versions: the 6000 Series, the 7000 Series, and the 8000 Series. All of these juicers had a few things in common:
- All 304 Food Grade Stainless Steel Construction, including the sieve, drip trays, and peel chutes
- Hinge-less Front Covers for increased reliability
- Magnet sensors for operator safety
- Heavy-Duty Direct Drive Motors for long-term juicing efficiency and durability
- Industry-leading seals to protect the motor-area of the juice and improve hygiene
- Easily removable parts, including the sieve and sieve support, for fast, effective cleaning
- Digital fruit counters that counted the actual fruit juiced and not just machine cycles
- Citrocasa SCS Soft Cut System with Dynamic Knife
Here are some of the original juicers in the line-up and some historical brochure pictures:
Citrocasa 6000XB on Stainless Steel Pedestal
7000SB Mounted on Stainless Steel Rolling Cabinet
8000XB Classic Mounted on Rolling Stainless Cabinet
8000SB Classic Mounted on Stainless Steel Rolling Cabinet with 2 Bottle Dispensers
LAUNCH OF THE CITROCASA FANTASTIC SERIES
The initial Citrocasa Fantastic M/SB and M/AS models were launched in 2010. The Citrocasa Fantastic F/SB was not launched for another year, in 2011, as more design work and engineering was required to refine what is now known as the Two-Level-Feeding System, or TLF. The innovations that the Citrocasa Fantastic Series brought to the market were numerous
- Simplified Dynamic SCS Knife
- Double Cover
- Heavy Duty Hinge-less Rounded Cover
- 100% Juice Capture System
- Smallest Footprint in the Industry (11” wide)
- Highest Speed for Small Citrus Juicers (30 Fruit per Minute)
SO SMALL. SO POWERFUL. SO FANTASTIC.
Citrocasa Fantastic promotional piece from 2011
LAUNCH OF THE CITROCASA 8000SB-ATS
Citrocasa 8000SB-ATS System with food safe silicone bands for seed removal
The Citrocasa 8000SB-ATS incorporated some outstanding engineering features into the already existing 8000SB. Although they don’t look like cars or phones, commercial citrus juicers have a lot in common with quality automobiles and high-tech telephones. With their commitment to quality and continuous improvement, TMP drove a continuous stream
of design changes to improve all models of the Citrocasa juicers and tracked these changes with version numbers.
When Citrus America started to pioneer the Citrocasa line of juicers in the USA and Canada, there were fewer than 5 machines in North America. The first Citrocasa
8000 Series juicers sold were 8000XB Version 03 juicers and the initial Citrocasa Fantastic M/AS units were Version 00. By 2015 Citrocasa had made so many improvements they had rolled the version numbers multiple times: selling Version 06 and 07 juicers.
Already in 2013, TMP GmbH started to ask its global distribution partners for their thoughts on a new commercial citrus press. Citrus America, along with other distribution partners around the world, played an active role in making improvements to the Citrocasa 8000 Series.
In 2015, Citrocasa launched the all-new 8000 Advance Series. This was also Version 08 of the 8000XB and 8000SB of commercial citrus juicers. In addition to taking all the incredible features already rolled out in the Fantastic Series, a number of additional major improvements were engineered into the 8000XB, the 8000SB, and the 8000SB-ATS. Since the launch of the 8000 Advance, Citrocasa has continued to make improvements. Various juicers are now tracking at Versions 11, 12, 13, and 14 at time of this article (September 2022).
Citrocasa 8000SB-ATS Mounted on Stainless Steel Rolling Cabinet with juice station.
MAJOR IMPROVEMENTS MADE IN THE CITROCASA 8000 ADVANCE SERIES
- Double Cover (carried over from Fantastic Series)
- Cross-Holder (carried over from Fantastic Series)
- Improved Knife Design (carried over from Fantastic Series)
- Robust Clear Front Cover (increased weight, new robust design features)
- Redesigned Stainless Steel Hopper with Screwless Rotation Plate
- Intelligent Stop with Fruit Counting
- Advanced Overload Design
8000 Advance Juicer promotional material from 2015
INVESTING IN VALUE VERSUS BUYING ON PRICE
Mr. Pichler, back in 2010, explained to Brian that there are at least 20 different companies that sell customers mediocre, or even bad, juicing equipment, but there was only one company supplying the best citrus squeezer and that juicer was a Citrocasa. This passion drove Mr. Josef Pichler to design the best, highest quality commercial citrus juicers on the market. Pichler’s passion also drove him to develop juicing equipment that is also highly attractive and would look good in any location.
Mr. Pichler stressed on multiple occasions, during his mentoring sessions, that anyone involved is not only helping customers earn direct profits from juicing, rather also helping customers develop or strengthen their brand image. Providing reliable equipment and fast technical support is critical for juicing program success, because juicing customers want to be able to provide high quality juice every day. The TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP and program consistency become critical considerations – and machine downtime is a very high cost due to lost customer revenues from juicing and disappointed customers who came, at least partially, to get a fresh juice experience.
“Mr. Framson,” Mr. Pichler would say, “Not every customer will decide to juice, but if they do, then there’s only one answer: and that’s Citrocasa.”
BE PROUD OF YOUR EQUIPMENT
Citrus America is very proud of their equipment and you should be too. Investing in a Citrocasa juicer is investing in a high-quality tool that looks great. Citrus America helps customers develop promotional and merchandising strategies and frequently tells their customers to place their Citrocasa juicers out front, where their customers, the end-consumer, can see the juicer in action. Show the customers that they are getting the freshest ingredients possible.
Juicing a few pieces of fruit at a time is relatively easy. Any hand-squeezer, or Sunkist-style rotary juicer can handle that. Juicing hundreds, or even thousands, of fruit every day – day in and day out – can be extremely challenging for a piece of equipment. To have a piece of equipment that also looks amazing, some might even say FANTASTIC, is even more incredible and something to be proud of.
THE CITRUS AMERICA FACTOR
A core part of Citrus America’s philosophy is based on integrity. As Citrocasa’s exclusive master distributor in North America, we represent the brand and the values it represents: the values designed into the product by Mr. Josef Pichler when he set out to make the absolute leader in the citrus juicing industry.
Citrocasa Fantastic M/AS with Fruit Display Basket and Small Pressing Kit
Over the years, we’ve also faced a few production quality issues, but we took extra steps to ensure that we addressed the quality issues and took timely actions to make sure the end-users were treated fairly. As any who has bought a car or any piece of equipment can tell you, sometimes there are warranty issues or other service issues… that’s when you can truly tell the quality of your partner: by how they act when there’s an issue to be addressed.
THE CITRUS AMERICA COMMITMENT
To that end Citrus America has ensured that we provide not only the best commercial citrus juicer in North America but also the best customer service. In order to do that we believe that it is necessary to provide industry-leading training for each operator of our Citrocasa juicers. We independently developed a series of training videos that are available, for our commercial juicers. However, we also offer in-person training and support at the time of installation to ensure that everyone involved in the operation of the machine is both competent and comfortable with juicing.
Furthermore, we provide technical support in a timely fashion. Citrus America understands that any amount of time that a juicer is not operational affects the Healthy Profits from Juicing. We want your juicer up and running! We will always strive to source the best juicing equipment possible and take all reasonable steps to address quality concerns that might arise.
We put in extensive research before deciding to partner with Citrocasa. Our time researching the best citrus juicer in the industry was critical because we aspire to always provide the best equipment available. When you partner with Citrus America you can be confident that you are getting the best products available on the market. More than that, in addition to providing the best commercial citrus juicers, we also commit to providing leading training and customer support. We sell the Innovative Citrocasa line to drive our customer's success.
About Citrus America– Citrus America has been driving innovation and quality in the juicing segment for more than a decade in North America and the Caribbean. We’re the exclusive master distributor for Citrocasa and have driven many innovations and quality improvements in juicing equipment. In addition to equipment solutions, we provide tailored training and support strategies to help our customers earn Healthy Profits.
About Citrocasa – Citrocasa has been the pioneer in producing the most innovative and highest quality food grade stainless steel commercial citrus juicing equipment to the grocery, hotel and restaurant since 2005 across Europe. The Citrocasa 8000 Series was launched in 2005, with the 8000XB and the 8000SB. The 8000SB-ATS was launched in 2013. The Citrocasa Fantastic Series was launched in 2010 with the Fantastic M/AS. The Fantastic F/SB followed in 2011.