Berry suppliers say there is plenty of promotable volume for the summer, and retailers are taking advantage of the supply by building large displays.

Berry growers produce ample supplies“We see a lot of retailers in the summer building large displays at the front of the produce department and even toward the front door,” said Julie Lucido, marketing director at Marketing Plus, Fresno, Calif., on behalf of Well-Pict Berries, Watsonville, Calif.

Lucido says the displays are so popular that some consumers buy three or four clamshells at a time.

“The color grabs consumers, and they instantly identify it as a healthy treat,” she said.

These promotable volumes fall right in line with high consumer demand at this time of year.

“It’s summer, so we see a lot of people use berries in cereal, smoothies, salads and other cold dishes, but also straight out of the package,” Lucido said.


Plentiful supplies

Others agree that summer is looking good in terms of the berry supply.

“We’ll have good supplies for the summertime and good promotable volumes. That’s going to be our push,” said Charlie Staka, director of sales for CBS Farms, Watsonville, Calif.

“For us, the summer berry outlook means consistent blueberry supplies all the way through the summer,” said Tom Richardson, vice president of global development for Giumarra International Berry, Los Angeles.

Consistent supplies for blueberries mean a good amount of berries for promotions and other special marketing programs.

“Blueberries are coming into their peak right now, so there is strong availability, and we’re encouraging retailers to put them on ad and carry large packs,” said Kyla Garnett, marketing manager for Naturipe Farms LLC, Estero, Fla.

Eric Crawford, president of Fresh Results LLC, Sunrise, Fla., says this is a good time to promote blueberries.

“We have an extremely high quality crop, and we have what I’d perceive to be a bumper crop out of most growing regions, giving the retail sector an opportunity to promote blueberries that they haven’t had in two or three years,” Crawford said.


Retail opportunities

The strong availability gives retailers a lot of freedom to come up with creative ideas to promote the category.

“Smart retailers know that this is one of those fantastic, unusual opportunities,” Crawford said.

“It’s a combination of exceptionally high quality and some of the lowest f.o.b. price points we’ve seen in years,” he said.

Garnett agrees.

“Right now is the best time to push special packs or do buy-one-get-one promotions to help push blueberries,” Garnett said.

Garnett says these ideas also work well for strawberries and raspberries, which are also heavily available in the summer.