Suppliers offer variety for berry patch displays

02/25/2013 10:07:00 AM
Tom Burfield

Driscoll’s also offers organic blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.

Over the past five years, Watsonville-based California Giant Inc. has been making inroads in the blueberry and blackberry categories by expanding into additional districts and increasing volume to become a year-round supplier, said Cindy Jewell, director of marketing.

The company ships blackberries from California and Mexico and blueberries from California, the Pacific Northwest and Chile.

Naples, Fla.-based Naturipe Farms LLC grows blueberries in all the major production areas in the U.S. and South America, said Robert Verloop, executive vice president of marketing.

Volume has continued to expand along with production of the company’s proprietary varieties, he said.

“We’re finding more demand for the 18-ounce and larger sizes,” he said.

Naturipe also offers blackberries and raspberries year-round.

Blackberries are the company’s fastest-growing berry percentagewise, and acreage of the firm’s many proprietary varieties of raspberries has been increasing significantly for the past three years, he said.

Verloop said he expects to see volume of all four berries continue to expand.

The company also produces fresh cranberries.


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