Oppy brightens berry offer
January 28, 2015

The Oppenheimer Group is targeting young families with its seasonal berry packs featuring a range of Sesame Street characters. The marketer’s berry range, sourced from South America, Mexico, Florida and California, is available in Sesame Street branded eat brighter! packs, which include blackberry clamshells featuring Ernie, raspberries with the Cookie Monster, blueberries showing Grover’s furry face, and strawberries with Elmo on the label.2_1203555_e

“With their intense colour, berries lend themselves perfectly to the eat brighter! concept,” said Jason Fung, director of category development for Oppy. “Displayed together, the packs present themselves as a Sesame Street ‘destination’ on the shelf. All of our currently seasonal berries are represented in the eye-catching packaging as part of this very important movement to increase fresh fruit and vegetable consumption among young families.”

At the same time, the marketer said it is increasing its strawberry offerings significantly this season, building scale and enabling it to deliver more comprehensive berry programmes.

“Last year we shipped California strawberries for the first time, testing the waters and assuring we could create a programme that accommodated our customers’ needs,” said Fung. “We have built on that effort through relationships with growers in Coachella, Oxnard and Salinas, so now we can serve more of our customers with larger organic and conventional California strawberry programmes.”
Fung notes that Oppy has entered full-fledged partnerships with high quality berry producers, investing financially and strategically planning the season to optimise the retailer and consumer experience ― while also creating a strong fiscal position for the growers. The programme began in

December and extends through September.

While Oppy’s California strawberry programme is growing, so are its berry offerings from other locales. The marketer is shipping Florida strawberries, and, along with the industry, is anticipating more volume in the weeks ahead.

Recently, the first Oppy raspberries hit the market, sourced through new relationships with proven Mexican berry growers. Meanwhile, its import blueberry programme from Peru and Chile are enjoying excellent momentum, Fung said.

“Berries have become a very important facet of the produce department, delivering a high dollar share to the bottom line,” he said. “Because they are such a critical part of the mix, the quality and consistency has to be there 365 days a year.”

Oppy has been building its berry category expertise relative to consumer insights, merchandising, logistics and other key areas in tandem with Total Berry in the UK, a fellow operating company under the Total Produce umbrella and European berry leader.

“We are proud to say that the Oppy berry programme has evolved to the point that retailers can comfortably rely on it for continuous supply of high quality fruit,” Fung summed up.