Rise in blueberry popularity calls for larger displays
May 13, 2016
Blueberries are definitely in growth mode and the best way to capitalize on that is with bigger displays and larger retail packs.
At least that is the view of Naturipe Farms LLC in Salinas, CA, a major supplier of both strawberries and blueberries, as well as blackberries and raspberries.
Marketing Manager Kyla Oberman told The Produce News May 9 that both strawberries and blueberries are moving into “peak of season availability” that offers retailers ample opportunity for promotion. California is the primary source currently for both those crops with Naturipe’s production centered in the Watsonville-Salinas area. The firm offers a full lineup of both conventional and organic SKUs. There is also some blueberry production on the East Coast as well.
This season, the company has extended its heat seal packages to include the one-pound blueberry.
“We encourage use of the one pound blueberry package over the traditional pint package for many reasons,” said Oberman. “Most importantly because global production of blueberries continues to rise.”
She noted that according to the United State Highbush Blueberry Council “blueberry production has grown significantly over the past decade, with all contributing markets, from North America to Asia, experiencing their own level of growth. With stats on our side, analysts expect blueberry production to be in excess of 1.45 billion pounds come 2017, showing that the industry is continuing to expand.”
Oberman said that by replacing the smaller pint with a slightly bigger one-pound package, an almost imperceptible effort can be made to increase consumption of this growing crop.
“We saw this exact scenario years ago with strawberries,” she said, noting that the one-pound blueberry package has the same footprint as strawberries, which is ideal for merchandising.
Oberman added, “As we are in peak domestic production, retailers should be carrying larger pack sizes regardless in order to accommodate consumers growing demand for healthy, fresh blueberries.”
The Naturipe executive said that the same philosophy should be used when building a berry display. “The more the merrier,” she said. “When shopping, consumer’s senses are on high alert. A bright, vibrant, colorful display of fresh blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries displayed all together is a great way to create purchase intent of all four berries.”
She said there are many opportunities for moving berries at retail. “A cleverly merchandised display with complementary items is also a great way to create purchase intent. Feature a specific recipe and include all the ingredients; create a secondary display and locate by the yogurts for a breakfast display or in the wine aisle, suggesting a berry sangria.”
The newest wrinkle from this longtime berry grower-shipper is a new tray that is sure to appeal to the sustainability efforts of retailers. “We will be launching a new molded, pulp fiber tray that is top sealed, compostable, recyclable and made from renewable resources,” said Oberman. “It aligns well with our Cultivate with Care program and reinforces our commitment to environmental stewardship. The natural color and feel of the sustainable material also helps retailers differentiate their organic displays and resonates with today’s organic shopper.”
The Produce News