Oppy's Darren Bonnell Discusses Cucumber Program
BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA - One of the top spring snacks that my parents put out for my sister and I was none other than the mighty cucumber. Dipped in ranch, hummus, or eaten by itself, it was the perfect thing to crunch on while doing homework. Although I may have grumbled as a kid, it’s now my go-to—and many consumers have hopped on board. To learn more about the state of cucumbers overall, and how retailers can best promote them during the season, I turned to Oppy’s Greenhouse Category Manager Darren Bonnell.
“There are a number of things that retailers can do to promote cucumbers, and it all starts with merchandising,” Darren began. “By putting cucumbers on end caps and at the front entrance, it encourages customers to buy this fresh addition for their salads, keeping the versatile vegetable top of mind. Additionally, it’s also important to remind consumers of the health benefits of cucumbers, along with the fact that they can be enjoyed in different ways, such as in smoothies for example. Oppy can provide stores and buyers with engaging and high-quality POS material, merchandising assistance, as well as promotional opportunities for British Columbia-grown cucumbers year-round!”
Unlike other greenhouse-grown crops, cucumbers need to be re-planted throughout the season, Darren explained to me.
“We typically grow three crops between February and October in British Columbia. From November to January, there simply isn’t enough natural light to grow cucumbers in the province, so some of our partners such as Randhawa Farms, owners of the Perpetual Vegetable Co. brand, use artificial lighting to provide year-round production of incredibly high-quality products. Once the crop starts, it takes about two weeks to go from flower to harvesting a cucumber,” he noted. “Oppy works incredibly closely with Perpetual Vegetable Co., who have been producing fantastic conventional long English cucumbers for generations. It has expanded its cucumber production this year by three acres which will empower it to provide a seamless 12-month supply.”
In addition, Oppy touted its organic greenhouse cucumber program, which began a few weeks ago and is planned to extend into fall. British Columbia grown and packed under the esteemed OriginO brand, these long, seedless cucumbers have become a favorite among discerning organic customers in Western Canada, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond.
Sounds like the time to get snacking is now! Keep reading AndNowUKnow for the latest in all things veg.