California Giant Berry Farms has increased its strawberry acreage by 12% over last year, mainly in Northern California, and is preparing marketing efforts for the coming production peaks there.
Albion remains the predominant strawberry in the north for the Watsonville, Calif.-based grower-shipper. The Monterey variety has been added to its mix of plantings in Santa Maria, according to a news release.
The company forecast rising availability of organic strawberries in all California growing regions. Production starts in February and runs to November.
California Giant also expects to bump up fresh blueberry acreage — from Chile in the winter and California and the Pacific Northwest in summer. It’s expanded its blackberry program as well.
For marketing, the grower-shipper plans to build on existing consumer data from quick response codes and social media.
“We are making a new investment in time and tools to learn more about who our followers are and why they are interested in us so we can better engage,” Cindy Jewell, director of marketing, said in the release.
California Giant’s focus for the trade will continue to be on cold chain management for berries, a topic it’s promoted on video at YouTube and in other formats.