Ocean Spray pins hopes of rescue on Oppenheimer

08/25/2003 12:00:00 AM
Andy Nelson

(Aug. 25) The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, expects its experience marketing and selling Enza apples and pears and Zespri kiwifruit to give a boost to its latest branded-produce client — Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc.

The troubled Lakeville, Mass.-based cooperative has picked Oppenheimer as its exclusive U.S. sales and marketing arm for this fall’s fresh cranberry crop. In the past, Ocean Spray has relied on a network of marketers, said James Lesser, Ocean Spray’s group product manager for food, produce and value-added ingredients.

The move comes in a year when Ocean Spray has cut 58 jobs, including 12 executive positions, and fought off a buyout attempt by Northland Cranberries Inc., Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.

Oppenheimer was picked for the job over four other candidates because of its wide geographic reach and its experience in field sales, category management and data analysis, Lesser said.

Oppenheimer has seven North American sales offices of its own and partnerships with two others.

With its reputation for excellent quality, Ocean Spray was a natural fit for Oppenheimer, said Oppenheimer’s East Coast sales manager, Jim Hohman.



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