Hydroponic tabletop strawberry concept to promote category growth
The first-ever Ocean Spray specialty berry pack will be released this fall and is backed by a trio of partners with plans to boost the category with a tabletop strawberry proposition.
New Wave Berry, LLC is a joint venture formed by grower, marketer and distributor Oppy, family-owned agribusiness Red Dog Management and agricultural investment firm Farmers Gate.
Its new hydroponic tabletop strawberry line will be grown in a newly-constructed high tunnel facility in Santa Maria, California.
As Oppy already has a partnership with Ocean Spray, the venture looks to further advance strawberry production practices and "bring a uniquely sustainable item to market".
“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," President of Oppy David Smith said.
"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."
The new variety will require fewer inputs than field-grown strawberries as hydroponics deliver just the nutrition at the roots of the plants, ensuring the use of fewer chemicals and less water.
With no groundwork required on tabletops, labor will be less strenuous for those tending to plants and harvesting the berries, while greenhouses enable year-round work and production, according to the release.
“It’s not every day we get to build something from the absolute ground up, or tabletop up, you might say in this instance,” Oppy’s VP of Categories, Berries and Greenhouse Jason Fung said.
"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," owners of Red Dog Management Greg and Donna France said.
Oppy will exclusively market the fruit and reveal its classified packaging in fall 2021.