Joint venture New Wave Berry has announced a new Hydroponic tabletop strawberry line set to debut on the Ocean Spray label.

Formed by grower-marketer-distributor Oppy, agribusiness Red Dog Management and agricultural investment firm Farmers Gate, New Wave Berry’s strawberries will be grown in a newly-constructed high tunnel facility in Santa Maria, California.

The first Ocean Spray specialty berry pack will hit shelved in the US in Autumn 2021, building on Oppy’s exclusive partnership with agricultural cooperative Ocean Spray.

David Smith, president of Oppy said the venture aims to further advance strawberry production practices and bring a uniquely sustainable item to market.

“With such diversification across categories at Oppy, I couldn’t be more excited for this one in particular,” said Smith.

“This concept combines care for the planet with care for the people and is poised to deliver an excellent strawberry experience for our customers and their shoppers. Berries have been an increasingly vital component of our product mix and I’m really proud to see our focus come to fruition with this innovative new line.”

Hydroponics requires fewer inputs than field grown strawberries and use less water while growing on tabletops reduces labour strain and bringing together these approaches for strawberries is an exciting prospect according to Oppy’s vice president of categories, berries and greenhouse Jason Fung.

“It’s not every day we get to build something from the absolute ground up, or tabletop up, you might say in this instance,” said Fung.

“Bringing a new item, a new brand extension and a new way of growing to the market, I think this is an opportunity to change the game really quickly. We certainly see a future on a large scale growing in this way and will be able to do so with such great partners.”

Oppy and Red Dog Management have extensive expertise with field strawberries and Greg and Donna France, owners of Red Dog Management, believe this is the next step for the category.

“We’ve been talking to Oppy about the prospect of tabletop growing and how it is going to be the future of strawberries for a long time, we’re ecstatic to be moving ahead,” they said.

“These berries will stand out because they will be heartier with a longer shelf life. Coupled with an eye-catching extension of the Ocean Spray line, we’re excited to deliver in a different way for our customers, and consumers will be very happy too.”