Supermarket Perimeter - February 2021 - 42

Produce

Berries
BERRIES CONTINUE TO BE one of the most successful, fastestgrowing categories in grocery fresh produce departments nationwide,
and suppliers are meeting the demand with new varieties - and new
ways of marketing and even growing old favorites.
In 2020 Vancouver, B.C.-based Oppy added Fair Trade Certified
Peruvian blueberries, packed under the Ocean Spray label, to its berry
product roster.
Jason Fung, Oppy's vice president of categories, berries and
greenhouse, said reception to the new deal has been " incredible. "
" It shows the true potential for produce that is grown sustainably
and in a socially responsible manner, " Fung said. " Last year we've had
more sales of Fair Trade blueberries than we have ever had before,
generating premiums that help farmworker communities by funding
many essential projects and services. "
Oppy expects momentum for the program to continue to build in
2021, with plans to expand in the near future.
Oppy continues to be an industry leader in Fair Trade Certified
produce across its diverse categories, including greenhouse and table
grapes, and the company is currently exploring other products as well.
" We've been a Fair Trade partner since 2004 and have generated over
$4.4 million in premiums since 2013 alone, with every year seeing our
Fair Trade sales increase as consumers increasingly seek out products
42 - FEBRUARY 2021

that have a positive environmental and social impact, " Fung said.
Another berry Oppy began shipping in 2020, the Haskap, has seen
similarly strong results, Fung said.
" Oppy has seen an incredibly overwhelming response from the
industry, other growers, the trade press and retailers, " he said. " The
interest and excitement that Haskap berries has received was truly
above and beyond. Especially for a niche product, the response was
very open and receptive, with everyone looking to learn more about
this unique and fun berry. "
Fung said it's likely a combination of novelty and flavor that has
generated so much interested in the Haskap in the industry. With a
sweet, tangy taste, Haskap berries have a flavor profile that combines
elements of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, he said. Haskap
berries are also especially well suited as a snack for children, thanks to
their size and flavor, which offers a tangy finish reminiscent of candy.
Look for bigger volumes of Haskaps in 2021, Fung said.
Oppy's berry program continues to expand in all of the company's
major growing regions. Oppy is also focusing on varietal development
with new products (such as the Haskap), as well as introducing new
opportunities to promote berries for our retail partners.
The company is also trialing various technologies - an effort led by
Garland Perkins, Oppy's senior manager for insights and innovation

supermarketperimeter.com

JCHIZHE - STOCK.ADOBE.COM, OPPY

BY ANDY NELSON


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Supermarket Perimeter - February 2021

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