As Bobalu Berry Farms reflects on its 60-year anniversary coming into the 2022 season, the Jones Family views 2021 as the milestone year completing the transition into a fully integrated company.
2022 will be the first year Bobalu will have strawberries for 365 days of the year from California.
“Last year was the year we did all the heavy lifting with software integration and building a strong team for the future. 2022 will be a year where we are fully established and ready to roll,” says RC Jones, managing partner.
Oxnard has always served as the headquarters and anchor to the company. It is the first district it harvests in California each year bringing in the new year with a fresh crop. “We are very pleased that for the first time, we will have fresh berries all 365 days of 2022 from California,” adds Bobby Jones, managing partner.
Bobby and RC Jones, managing partners of Bobalu.
Bobalu, LLC typically relies fully on fresh volume from Mexico during winter months after the Santa Maria fall crop ends and before the spring crop kicks off in Oxnard. However, for the first time, the company has added a fall Oxnard crop in addition to Santa Maria’s fall program that will come on a bit later carrying fresh California fruit into 2023. Now Oxnard will be the first and the last district harvesting each year for the company within the state. The addition of the crop from Mexico will compliment domestic fruit providing a beneficial overlap during the holidays.
“In 2022 we are very pleased to support the loyalty of key customers with this increased supply throughout the year,” adds RC. This is a direct result of the expanded demand the company experienced due to quality and service. This added volume will also help expand its foodservice business in 2022.
Bobalu is also expanding its website with recipes and further developing its footprint on social media.
Bobalu is also stepping up its engagement with consumers by expanding the website. The company added new, exclusive recipes while expanding its footprint on social media with influencer support. The focus is on ‘easy’ as consumers look to get out of the kitchen in 2022 and use more hacks to get meals pulled together.
“Consumers are hungry for simple recipe solutions, tips and hacks, along with information about brands they align with,” says Bobby. The added engagement will support increased purchases and usage of Bobalu berries by its current and new brand followers.
“We do see 2022 as a challenging year for all of produce with supply chain issues looming ahead,” says Bobby, noting there are issues around transportation, labor, availability of crop protection tools and packaging. All of those come with decreased availability and increased costs. This is not a deterrent for the company leaders after 60 years of dealing with challenges. Managing partners and the entire staff remains focused on quality, flavor and partnerships to keep product moving and all are looking to continued expansion beyond 2022.