Oppy's Jason Fung Details Tight Strawberry Market
ONTARIO, CANADA - The strawberry is one heart-shaped fruit that consumers can’t get enough of this time of year. As such, retailers had better be building impressive displays across the produce aisle. To see what buyers can expect from the market at this time, I got in touch with Oppy’s VP of Categories, Berries, and Greenhouse, Jason Fung.
“The market is definitely tight at the moment,” said Jason. “Pricing at this stage is slightly higher than the seasonal norm, as it has been driven up due to weather disruptions in Florida and Mexico, which have impacted the market. Promotional opportunities through the first quarter will still become available as our California program continues to ramp up and gain momentum.”
Oppy’s strawberry season is never ending. The company grows in a diverse cross-section of regions, allowing for a robust year-round program and secure lines of supply in an unpredictable and fluctuating industry. Currently, Oppy is growing in all major regions in California, Florida, and Mexico.
“As with every season, there is always a risk of disruptions to supply due to adverse weather conditions for our crop, and this year is no different,” Jason told me when I asked about weather conditions. “Right now, we’re keeping an eye on the cold weather in Florida and Mexico, as well as the potential for rain in California.”
Jason went on to explain that so far quality has been excellent, which supports the high expectations set with Oppy’s retail partners in the past. The weather in California has been extremely favorable in terms of sizing as well as quality for this stage of the season.
Oppy continues to grow its exclusive strawberry partnership with Ocean Spray® every year, offering consumers and retailers alike a clear differentiator in a category that is sometimes hindered by label pollution.
“Thanks to the strength of the Ocean Spray brand, which enjoys 90 percent brand awareness according to independent research, we are able to stand out on the shelves while offering exceptional fruit to back up the beloved and highly recognizable brand,” Jason concluded. “It’s ultimately a winning combination because the retailers reap the benefits and so do consumers.”
Be sure to check out Jason’s insights in our most recent discussion with voices of the industry on how retailers can boost sales through the strawberry category this Valentine’s Day. And, as always, keep an eye out for the latest fresh produce updates as ANUK reports.