Added acreage in California bolsters the group’s Ocean Spray programme as it looks to meet increasing demand

Ocean Spray grape clamshells 2023

Oppy has revealed that it is introducing new table grape acreage under the Ocean Spray label as it aims to strengthen its supply in California.

The group kicks off the San Joaquin Valley season from ranches in Wasco, through McFarland, Pixley, Farmersville and Strathmore. Together, these five regions are expected to produce 20 per cent more than Oppy harvested in 2022 as more acreage comes online.

“We are well-poised to meet the increasing demand for high-quality grapes with both domestic and internationally grown fruit,” said senior vice president of categories and marketing James Milne.

“As the California industry compresses, Oppy ranches continue to grow alongside consumption,” he explained. ”We’ve prepared for this transition, bringing Piers Hanbury onto our team last year.”

Building T&G’s export grape category in California a decade ago, Hanbury eventually oversaw its global grape programme, leading supply to and from the US including Peru, Chile, Australia, South Africa, Asia and Europe.

“It is an honour to be a part of this team and leverage my expertise to build premium grape supply for North Americans — and it makes it much easier to do so in the best-in-class Ocean Spray brand alongside preferred licensed new varieties,” said Hanbury.

Candy Hearts is a new addition to Oppy’s conventional and organic line-up this year, the group explained, while the company will also continue to integrate agricultural technology into its crops this season utilising Bloomfield Robotics’ proprietary FLASH camera to collect data and use it to forecast yield at the cluster level.

“We look towards a fantastic five-month season in California as we ensure stable year-round supply with our transition to Peru, Brazil, Chile, South Africa and Mexico,” Hanbury added.