California Giant expects to ‘meet a milestone’ in its fresh blueberry category, with significant increases in its Pacific Northwest’s summer volume, its conventional program, and its organic blueberry volume.
These volumes are set to rise over last year’s figures by 45%, 25%, and 90% respectively.
Such upsurges are particularly noteworthy considering the company’s fresh blueberry volume has already been growing steadily for the past five years – the corporation typically sees volumes up anywhere from 15-30% from the previous year.
California Giant attributes its brand success to efforts in building grower partnerships, specifically in Oregon. This allows the company to ship most of their summer blueberries domestically, reducing food miles.
“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,” adds Markus Duran, North American blueberry operations manager.
The corporation explains that these moves were part of a strategy to build its year-round berry program to best meet customer demand for promotable volumes of its four berry types – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.
With such a positive couple of years, the company says it will start to provide a promotable volume of both conventional and organic blueberries on a year-round basis.
“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.”
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 supplies from Mexico and South America reach the market.
Its enduring relationships with its farming partners in those regions as well will enable a smooth transition from one region to another, allowing promotions to continue, comments the corporation.
The company says it will provide further details about its crops and promotion plans at the June United Convention in Chicago, Illinois.