Naturipe's Jerry Moran and Brian Vertrees Detail Valentine's Day Merchandising and Strawberry Market Updates
SALINAS, CA - I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day. A holiday full of both whimsy and heartfelt connection, it’s a wonderful time to celebrate loved ones. Ever since I began working in this industry, I’ve been incorporating fresh produce into my V-Day celebrations, and Naturipe is here to help retailers make sure their customers do the same.
“We are excited to offer our long-stem strawberry packs around Valentine’s Day. These delicious berries are hand harvested with longer stems, which make it easier to dip them in chocolate for a fun and tasty Valentine’s Day activity,” Jerry Moran, Vice President of Sales, told me.
With experiential gifting on the rise, this sounds like a must-grab!
Brian Vertrees, Director of Business Development, further clued me in on the importance of merchandising strawberries the right way in the lead-up to the holiday.
“We would suggest that retailers take advantage of the Valentine’s Day association with strawberries and cross-merchandise them with other berries such as blueberries and raspberries to create a strong berry patch display,” he explained. “Organic blueberries from Chile will be in peak volumes during the Valentine’s pull, and conventional blueberries will also have strong volumes coming in. Both are great items to help supplement displays with additional berries for Valentine’s Day. When consumers reach for strawberries, they won’t be able to miss—or resist—the other great-tasting berries in the display.”
With this in mind, I asked Jerry what the current berry market looks like, especially on the strawberry side of the equation.
“Due to the weather issues over the last several weeks in some of the main growing regions throughout the industry, there are lighter supplies,” Jerry noted. “Buyers can expect markets to remain in a situation where demand exceeds supply through the holiday pull. Our family farmers work hard year-round to deliver retailers and consumers a tasty berry that’s packed with heart-healthy benefits, but one thing they cannot control is the weather and how it impacts holiday volumes.”
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