“It’s the first step in people eating ready-to-eat fruit right out of the clamshell,” Mixon said. “That’s a big advantage to blueberries. There’s no peeling. It’s all good.”
California Giant is working messages about the product’s nutritional benefits into its marketing plans, said Cindy Jewell, marketing director.
“It’s huge, the whole antioxidant message,” she said. “We’re doing the whole social media plan.”
Janice Honigberg, president of Washington, D.C.-based grower-shipper Sun Belle Inc. and member of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, said the nutritional findings have been an “incredible” value to the product.
“I think slowly but surely, the public is connecting with that message, but first and foremost I think the people are buying all berries for the flavor,” she said.
The nutritional value certainly doesn’t hurt, though, said Brian Bocock, vice president of product management for Naturipe Farms LLC, Naples, Fla.
“The health message, the taste and looks are a good combination,” he said. “When it comes to the nitty-gritty, people will pay the price. For the rest, you have to have a value proposition. You offer them a larger pack where it makes more sense to them.”