Supermarket Perimeter - February 2022 - 44

Produce
Berries
BY CHRIS CRAWFORD
THIS YEAR'S BERRY SEASON looks to offer a promotable quantity of
product, including some new offerings from suppliers.
And while the long-term pandemic continues to affect the supply
chain, packaging, labor and related transportation costs, suppliers offer
their tips on how to maximize berry sales to recover additional charges.
So far, Watsonville, Calif.-based Well-Pict Inc. has experienced good
growing seasons for its early season berries, said Jim Grabowski, vice
president of marketing.
" In California, rains in later December followed by cooler
temperatures have pushed production of strawberries back by a couple
of weeks, " he said, adding that mid-January was the goal to begin
production out of Oxnard, Calif., fields, with volume picking up through
the following weeks.
Jerry Moran, vice president of sales for Naturipe Farms, Salinas, Calif.,
agreed that strong California rainfall delayed winter/spring crops, " but
our Mexican Strawberries are really starting to pick up in production and
will be in good supply for Valentine's Day. "
Naturipe also sources blueberries from South America, first from
Peru, later from Chile.
" We will follow up with our Mexican crop, which occurs in late
February into March, " Moran said. " We have also seen an increase in our
Mexican raspberry crop, as our proprietary varieties have shown a great
deal of potential. We are excited to see such great volumes just around
the corner. "
Plant City, Fla.-based Wish Farms supplies all major berries, with growers
harvesting from Chile to British Columbia to offer year-round offerings.
Currently, the company is growing and harvesting strawberries and
pineberries in Florida and will continue to do so through March, said
Nick Wishnatzki, public relations manager. It will then shift production
to California around April.
" The weather has cooperated well so far in Florida (dry and not too
cold or hot), so strawberry yield has been solid, while quality and flavor
have been exceptional, " he added.
Wish Farms sources blueberries from Chile and Peru through
March, when it shifts to its domestic Florida crop. The company
primarily harvests blackberries and raspberries in Mexico until late
spring. Its ranches in Southern California, Georgia and North Carolina
carry the volume until the Mexican harvest season begins ramping
back up around September.
New berries, promotions
As a result of the pandemic, consumers are starting to use the " food
is medicine " concept more readily with their food choices, said
Moran of Naturipe.
44 - FEBRUARY 2022
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" Nutrition as a health perspective has been brought to the forefront
as a result, " he said. " We think there's a ripe opportunity to leverage that
messaging and turn it into more sales. As health trends rise, consumers
will continue to buy berries for the numerous health benefits, including
high levels of antioxidants, fiber and other nutrients. "
Naturipe is launching a new " Berry Gem " program, as well as
continuing its " Mighty Blues " program. The Berry Gem program
differentiates some of the company's new varieties by focusing on
flavor and quality.
" This will help retailers show off the hard work that our growers have
done in developing these new varieties, " Moran said.
Naturipe's Mighty Blues program will continue to promote the quality,
size and flavor of its blueberries.
Grabowski of Well-Pict said berries sell themselves when they are
fresh, full-colored and aromatic. " Retailers just need to place them in a
prominent place within the produce department where consumers can
see them and easily pick them up, " he said.
The best-selling berry product is hands down the 1-pound clamshell
container of strawberries, Grabowski said.
" Since the introduction of clamshell containers, the 1-pound
strawberry unit has been the industry workhorse, " he added. " It is
the go-to unit for most promotions, being sold singularly or in sales
featuring multiple sales units, such as 2 for xx dollars, 3 for xx dollars or
the buy one, get one free/reduced price sale. "
Later in the season, when all berry varieties are available, the " Berry
Patch " concept always works well by placing strawberries, raspberries,
blackberries and blueberries in a grouping where the consumer can do
one-stop shopping, Grabowski said.
Multiple pack sizes are best to capture all purchases from different
shoppers, said Moran of Naturipe.
" Carrying two or more pack sizes for each berry commodity allows
the consumer to make their preferred choice, " he added. " We have seen
WISH FARMS
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Supermarket Perimeter - February 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supermarket Perimeter - February 2022

Supermarket Perimeter - February 2022 - Intro
Supermarket Perimeter - February 2022 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - February 2022 - 2
Supermarket Perimeter - February 2022 - 3
Supermarket Perimeter - February 2022 - 4
Supermarket Perimeter - February 2022 - 5
Supermarket Perimeter - February 2022 - 6
Supermarket Perimeter - February 2022 - 7
Supermarket Perimeter - February 2022 - 8
Supermarket Perimeter - February 2022 - 9
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