California Giant Berry Farms' Cindy Jewell Discusses Summer Blueberry Season
WATSONVILLE, CA - Perhaps it’s the color, but something about blueberries screams America to me. And it would seem that most consumers agree, given that berry sales spike during the summer—despite their availability year-round. I spoke with Cindy Jewell, Vice President of Marketing for California Giant Berry Farms, to find out the state of the blueberry market and what retailers can do to take advantage of this fruit.
“This is really peak blueberry season,” Cindy shared. “Several regions are in production right now, including our Washington and Oregon organics programs. It seems like each year when the Fourth of July hits, consumers really increase their purchases of blueberries. We always encourage retailers to build a large display with all berry types dividing the various shades of reds and blues to draw the consumer in. Easy pricing methods help too by offering a mix and match price and encouraging sales of multiple packages for a deal.”
Varieties available are Duke, Draper, Blue Ribbon, Megas Blue, Top Shelf, and Cargo. Blue Ribbon, Top Shelf, Megas Blue, and Cargo, Cindy told me, are newly-released premium varieties that the company will begin marketing for the first time. Each of these are known for their firmness, great flavor, eating quality, and shelf life.
“Blueberries are a staple this time of year because of the great flavor, versatility, and all those summer fresh blueberry recipes consumers are used to making for picnics, BBQ, vacations, and weekend gatherings,” Cindy said. “They are so easy to include in desserts, salads, smoothies, or frozen into ice cubes in signature drinks. They are the perfect ‘cooler’ food—easy to throw a clamshell in the cooler on the way to the pool or beach since they don’t require slicing or dicing. Just pop ‘em in your mouth! That paired with the fact they are a superfood and good for you is a win all the way around.”
Ideal summer food, indeed! Keep reading AndNowUKnow for the latest in crop and market updates like this.