The “berry patch” remains the preferred method for marketing berries at the retail level, suppliers say.
“Our focus is on the berry patch. We want to make sure all four berries are represented at the front of the store, especially considering the berry supply is so large right now,” said Frances Dillard, director of marketing for Driscoll’s, Watsonville, Calif.
Kyla Garnett, marketing manager for Naturipe Farms LLC, Estero, Fla., says the company also suggests a large berry display with multiple berry types.
“We encourage retailers to offer as many berries as they can within the berry display,” Garnett said.
Price promotions are also popular in the summer months.
Around the holidays, Garnett says consistent promotions are effective.
“A back-to-back weekly ad or price reduction strategy surrounding holidays has proven successful in attracting purchases and increasing volume,” she said.
“There’s no doubt that if production is at a point where you can become aggressive with pricing, it will generate more enthusiasm,” said Eric Crawford, president of Fresh Results LLC, Sunrise, Fla.
Crawford says that two-for-one deals, or even offering a pint of blueberries for $1, is a great way to promote summer volumes.
“It’s a great loss-leader item,” he said.
Retailers can set price promotions to whatever best suits their needs.
“We’re seeing some very creative pricing-based promotion to move this large crop of blueberries,” he said.
A savings on freight can help grower-shippers provide a lower price point for retail ads.
“What works well for us is to get a lot of packages on a truck so you don’t pay as much per package, and the cost is a little lower. We tend to get more ads that way,” said Charlie Staka, director of sales for CBS Farms, Watsonville, Calif.
Another important aspect for marketing berries is ensuring quality and flavor are at their best.
“We want to keep flavor at its peak, and we work closely with our store partners to make sure the cold management chain isn’t broken and everything is as tight as can be,” Dillard said.
Looking to the future, marketers say that back-to-school season shouldn’t be forgotten as an opportunity.
“Berries are still available in the fall, and they make great snacks as kids go back to school,” Garnett said.
There are always lots of ideas to get berries into the daily menu and snack items.
“Berries can be frozen and mixed into smoothies or in ice cubes,” she said.
“Don’t forget berries in the fall, even as the fall fruits become available,” she said.
Julie Lucido, marketing director for Marketing Plus, Fresno, Calif., on behalf of Well-Pict Berries, says school lunches are a good opportunity to use berries.
“Our next big push will be focusing on ideas for moms and how to get sliced strawberries into lunches. We also have some fun wraps we’ll be promoting on social media for the back-to-school time,” Lucido said.