California Giant's Cindy Jewell Discusses Strawberry Season
WATSONVILLE, CA - Strawberries will forever be my favorite fruit. (Shh—don’t tell the others.) There’s nothing quite like biting into the delicious red fruit, and if you’re anything like me, you can munch your way through a carton in less than twenty minutes. In order to find out more about my favored friends, I caught up with Cindy Jewell, Vice President of Marketing at California Giant Berry Farms.
“Our strawberry season spreads over several regions, so we are always shifting slightly based on the time of year,” Cindy begins. “Currently, we are harvesting fresh strawberries in three regions within Mexico, Florida, and in Oxnard and Santa Maria, California.”
In Mexico and Florida, Cindy tells me, the company is ramping up production at a higher rate as it’s been harvesting the 2018-2019 crop since well before the holidays. And in Oxnard and Santa Maria, the 2019 crop is just getting underway, meaning that the strawberry volume will last longer into the spring as a result.
With varieties including Brilliance, Fronteras, and San Andreas, I ask Cindy what the quality of the berries is, and her answer does not disappoint.
“Quality is excellent in all regions with large, full red fruit," she says. “The plants are young and healthy as well, which really helps translate into the fruit quality, size, and flavor. This is the time of year, during the chilly winter weather, when consumers get excited about seeing beautiful and large red berries in the market.”
As consistent demand continues and ramps up throughout the month of January, Cindy explains to me the best way for retailers to get in on the action.
“This is a great time of year for both retail and foodservice to bring new color back into the mix, as consumers are looking for a change and looking for healthy items in the new year. Berries bring color, aroma, and fresh excitement into the produce department and on the menu,” Cindy concludes.
You heard it here, folks! Strawberries are the berries to beat.