Bobalu Berries Anthony Gallino Discusses Strawberry Outlook
OXNARD, CA - Much of North America is seeing winter-gray skies and snowfall, but California currently sits in what looks to be the sunny alternative to a snow globe. While those of us on the West Coast might be a bit seasonally topsy-turvy, Oxnard strawberries are soaking it up according to Bobalu Berries’ VP of Sales Anthony Gallino.
“We should definitely keep our fingers crossed, but for now we are seeing some really mild weather conditions, which has brought the fruit on early in Oxnard,” Anthony says. “We are seeing beautiful fruit and our weekly numbers are increasing faster than last year.”
While the company’s daily volume numbers are ramping up, Anthony points out that the statewide volume is somewhat lower than this same time last year, resulting in higher pricing, as reported by the Market News service. Meanwhile, Bobalu is seeing steady demand to kick off the year, with shopping patterns keeping high both in-store and online as consumers across the country continue to eat at home and look for healthy options to feed their families.
“We definitely have early season strength in the market due to our acreage in Oxnard being higher than some in the industry, and we have additional fruit coming from Coachella and Mexico. Our fruit is large, firm, and delicious, and we are a very welcome sign of a new year in the produce department for shoppers, with this timing being desirable to our retail partners as they focus on building shopper loyalty and demand with a new berry season,” Anthony points out.
In the coming weeks, Bobalu anticipates orders for Stems to make a big jump as retailers plan their Valentine’s promotions. And, if the weather holds, it looks as though optimal fruit in California and Mexico will be ready to fulfill those holiday orders.
“Positive publicity featuring berries as immunity-boosting options have helped keep our berries in the shopping cart. We see this trend continuing well into spring as we come into peak season for Easter and Mother’s Day holidays ahead, and as we participate in many face-to-face—well, Zoom—meetings with buyers setting up our 2021 programs, one of our advantages is having our Owner/Partners participate in those meetings. You are speaking to me directly, as well as our owners and farmers, not just sales agents for a label,” Anthony assures.
As the 2021 berries hit the year running, AndNowUKnow will continue to keep our ear to the ground.