California Giant said it has been building their year-round berry program over the past several years in response to customer demand for promotable volume of all four berry types. This year the company is very pleased to report they have met a milestone with fresh blueberries.
Due to increased customer and consumer demand, over the past five years fresh California Giant blueberry volume has increased each year by anywhere from 15 – 30 percent. However, summer volume from the Pacific Northwest in 2019 will increase by 45 percent over just last year. The conventional program will increase by 25 percent over last year, and the organic blueberry volume is expected to increase by 90 percent over 2018. The company says the significant increase in California Giant brand blueberries is due to efforts in building grower partnerships, specifically in Oregon, allowing it to ship most of their summer blueberries domestically - reducing food miles.
California Giant added that it is looking forward to this new program addition as the company will provide promotable volume of both conventional and organic blueberries now on a year-round basis. “We have worked together at California Giant to develop long term partnerships with our blueberry farming partners and are excited to see these relationships come together to benefit both of us. We look forward to sharing details with our trading partners about our expended blueberry program and the volume we will bring to the table with both conventional and organic fruit just in time for summer”, says Markus Duran (pictured, top), North American Blueberry Operations Manager.
The company expects the summer blueberry crop to begin just in time for July holiday promotions both in retail and foodservice. Availability of fresh California Giant organic and conventional blueberries will continue throughout the summer and into the fall when the season moves to Mexico & South America. Again, the company said it has developed long term relationships with farming partners in those regions as well enabling a smooth transition from one region to another allowing promotions to continue.
California Giant will feature more detailed crop and promotion plans at the June United Convention in Chicago, booth #7015.