Berry volumes are expected to increase just in time for one of the most important promotional dates of the year.

“The Fourth of July is the biggest holiday of the summer,” said Luciano Fiszman, blueberry category manager for Gourmet Trading Co., Redondo Beach, Calif.

And the outlook for the Fourth of July is good, said Jim Grabowski, marketing manager of Well-Pict Inc., Watsonville, Calif.

“Both strawberry and raspberry volume should be of a sufficient nature to support retail promotions,” Grabowski said.

Grabowski said early July is the best time to promote the “berry patch” concept at retail because strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are available in abundant quantities and make for a colorful and healthy one-stop shopping destination.

“The Fourth of July holiday is a good one for berry promotions because of the large number of people eating out at picnics, barbecues, beach parties and family gatherings that make it easy to bring along a colorful, delicious and — most of all — healthful tray of berries, which can be eaten with other foods or strictly as a snack by themselves,” Grabowski said.

Cindy Jewell, vice president of marketing for California Giant Berry Farms, Watsonville, said Memorial Day serves as “a launching point for holiday berries,” and the industry relies on July Fourth “to help keep those displays front and center and attention on berries into the summer.” 

“July Fourth should bring plenty of shoppers into the stores,” she said, “and we have promotable volume of all berry types to capture their attention.”

Mario Flores, director of blueberry product management for Naturipe Farms LLC, Salinas, Calif., said he expects “good promotable holiday volume” from blueberry growers in New Jersey and California.