Ocean Spray Cranberries Get Holiday Sparkle From Oppy
VANCOUVER, CANADA - Another year is coming to a close, meaning another holiday season, and, of course, another Oppy-Ocean Spray® cranberry campaign. Oppy’s first shipment of the holiday delight is slotted for the first day of autumn, a-k-a September 23, a-k-a the best day of the year.
“The tradition is back!” said Tony Illiano, the Category Manager who leads Oppy’s exclusive annual Ocean Spray cranberry campaign. “We are excited to bring the essential berry of the season to our customers once again in this trusted brand. Ocean Spray is a farmer-owned cooperative, and grows cranberries in several North American regions, which have all experienced a good growing season, setting the stage for high quality cranberries on holiday tables this year.”
According to a press release, the cranberry is a perennial crop, meaning that a single vine can produce cranberries from generation to generation.
“Cranberries are one of only three native North American cultivated fruits,” said Eric Sinsigalli, Sales Director at Ocean Spray. “In essence, the way cranberries grow is naturally good for the environment because they are growing in a climate and region where they naturally occur. Due to this and other practices, every one acre of cranberry farm conserves over five acres of surrounding wetlands.”
Wisconsin growers expect to supply more of the new hybrid varieties of cranberries, known as HyReds and Scarlet Knights, which reach their peak color by mid-September. Recent favorable weather and agricultural conditions on the East Coast suggest that berry harvests in the region should be strong. Eastern Canadian berries are expected to have high quality and volume, based on warm, dry weather patterns. Following a record crop in 2018, fresh cranberry yields in the Pacific Northwest are forecast to be down this year. Finally, Ocean Spray’s organic cranberries are increasing in volumes now and can be expected to continue to increase going forward.
“We’ve developed a strategic relationship that our customers and their shoppers have responded to well,” said Brett Libke, Senior Vice President of Sales at Oppy. “Between produce and center store, Ocean Spray can have up to 52 facings at any given time. That’s a really powerful brand proposition, which we’ve grown together in produce, starting with cranberries over a decade and a half ago and adding a strong berry and citrus program.”
He noted that Ocean Spray’s presence in the produce department has risen significantly in the last two years, now that the brand extends beyond cranberries to include strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and citrus through its partnership with Oppy.
This season, Ocean Spray cranberries will be displayed in newly-designed 12-oz bags on free-standing display units along with specs on how to bring fresh cranberries into favorite holiday dishes. Last season, retailers saw a 78 percent year-over-year sales lift when using the Ocean Spray bins, along with a 147 percent increase in dollar velocity.
“Ocean Spray is excited to launch new fresh cranberry packaging this season,” Sinsigalli said. “The new graphics will continue to drive awareness of Ocean Spray’s heritage as a farmer-owned cooperative since 1930 while also showcasing the versatility of usage occasions for fresh cranberries through recipes.”
Cranberry sauce may be a family favorite on the Thanksgiving dinner table, but Ocean Spray and Oppy contest that fresh berries and other products deserve to be at the forefront as well. I, for one, maintain at least one bag of Ocean Spray dried cranberries in my pantry year-round. Us ANUK produce heads never cease to find new horizons in the industry, so stay with us.