Berries are a hot item, and companies are promoting and investing accordingly. ( Naturipe )

Commission calls for snack ideas

The Watsonville-based California Strawberry Commission is encouraging consumers to eat eight strawberries a day — about a cup’s worth — with its #GetSnacking monthly giveaway, said Carolyn O’Donnell, communications director.

Each month on Instagram, @castrawberries will give away prizes like NutriBullets, Fitbits and strawberry-themed items to help consumers support a healthful lifestyle.

To enter, consumers submit their favorite strawberry snack idea on Instagram with hashtag #GetSnacking, subscribe to the commission’s newsletter or follow @castrawberries on Instagram and Facebook.

Winners are chosen randomly at the end of each month.

Those who enter a monthly giveaway will be entered into the 2018 grand prize giveaway.

The newsletter, launched in May, is designed to keep consumers updated on the latest strawberry and health news, current giveaways and strawberry recipes, O’Donnell said.


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Crystal Valley pairs on blueberries

Miami-based Crystal Valley Foods has partnered with Brewton, Ala.-based Old South Blueberries LLC and will ship Alabama-grown blueberries under the Crystal Valley and Old South Blueberries labels through July, according to a news release.

This is the first year Crystal Valley Foods has partnered with a berry grower in Alabama.

Old South Blueberries, which began growing blueberries in 2014, now has more than 60,000 bushes and seven rabbiteye varieties, the release said.


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Driscoll’s miniseries proves popular

Watsonville, Calif.-based Driscoll’s miniseries “Pursuit of Flavor,” which the company launched in April, has already gained more than 1.5 million views.

The six-part series has received 65 million impressions, according to a news release, and is poised to break Driscoll’s previous engagement record.

More than 70% views are on mobile devices and women age 25-44 are the primary viewers, showing the series resonates with the berry buyer demographic, according to the release.

The episode on raspberries has the highest number of views so far, according to the release, and the blackberry segment has the highest average view duration.


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Naturipe offers sustainable packs

In response to increased demand for sustainable packaging, Salinas, Calif.-based Naturipe Farms LLC has introduced two sustainable organic blueberry packages.

“We have our Earth Cycle pulp fiber pint that is completely compostable, virtually eliminates plastic and resonates well with organic shoppers,” said Brian Vertrees, director of business development–West.

“Second is a peel-reseal, 1-pound organic blue pack that uses 35% less plastic than a traditional clamshell,” he said.

The company also has launched Ready-To-Eat Fruit Cups, said Jill Overdorf, director of value-added fresh business development.

“This product is packed in a unique cup design with a built-in spork and 5 ounces of fresh fruit, ideal for convenience stores, grab-and-go delis, lunch departments and catering operations,” she said.