California Giant is expecting strong volumes of organic and conventional blueberries available for the summer season from the Pacific Northwest.
“Our growers in Oregon harvested their first pick just last week,” said Nick Chappell, director of retail sales for California Giant. “This season is unique because it will only take about two weeks to hit peak volume and those high numbers will sustain for about six weeks before it begins to slowly decrease.”
Together with Oregon grower, AC Foods, California Giant has become the first US blueberry grower to be recognised as Bee Better Certified by the Xerces Society.
Identified by the certifier’s trademark bee icon, its organic blueberries are now available in a 18oz plastic-free container that is 100 per cent recyclable.
“Organic volume is up significantly this year as a result of increased acreage,” said Tom Smith, director of foodservice and organic sales for California Giant.
“The weather in the Pacific Northwest was cooperative this spring. The plants are strong, and we saw that the farms experienced really good pollination. We’re seeing the berries size up this week with good colour and bloom.”
The company is planning several marketing activities to support the expected influx of blueberries as well as strawberries, raspberries and blackberries this summer.
This includes the “Sip, Chill, Repeat” sweepstakes which is complemented by a nationwide Ibotta coupon offering a $0.35 reward towards any California Giant strawberry purchase.
In addition, the brand will launch two volume moving coupons targeting key areas of California Giant’s product distribution. The coupons will be promoted through digital and social media activations in July and August
“We’ve worked hard to listen and react to the feedback received from both trade customers as well as consumers over the past few years,” said Chappell.
“We recently invested more into our data resources, both qualitative and quantitative, to provide a more in-depth understanding of shopper behaviour. The promotions and coupons are a part of that.”