California Giant Berry Farms' Cindy Jewell and Naturipe's Kyla Oberman Discuss Valentine's Day Outlook for Strawberries
CALIFORNIA - It looks like the weather is turning around in time to supplement those Valentine’s promotions with the ever-popular strawberry.
Cooler conditions have made volume a challenge for growers, Cindy Jewell, VP of Marketing for California Giant Berry Farms, tells me, but it looks like a little bit of luck could come their way.
“We are definitely ramping up for the Valentine’s Day pull and doing our best to supply customers with the stem berries they are all ordering,” Cindy says. “We have challenges in supply due to the weather conditions we have been dealing with over the last few weeks and the cold nighttime temperatures we have been getting for the last few nights don’t help either.”
But with the warmer turn the weather took this last weekend, as well as much of this week, Cindy said that the company is expecting more help in that arena before the holiday arrives.
Naturipe’s Director of Marketing, Kyla Oberman, also had a confident outlook for the strawberry circuit when it comes to those Valentine’s promotions, telling me that the weather has cooperated nicely in the last few weeks, giving strawberries a chance to bounce back to promotable volumes for Valentine’s Day and beyond.
“The 2016 season for strawberries looks strong – both supply and quality are looking excellent,” Kyla says, adding that Mexico’s production is currently going strong and is expected to reach peak all of February. “Oxnard is expected to peak late-February, with Santa Maria and Salinas/Watsonville coming on strong in March and April through the summer.”
As for retailers, Kyla suggests going big with large colorful displays of berries in the produce department to catch the eye and inspire those impulse buys.
“Naturipe’s long stemmed strawberry bouquet packs are uniquely designed to resemble long-stemmed roses; these are ideal for a retailer's Valentine’s display,” Kyla tells me. “Merchandise with complimentary products such as Dulci Frutta chocolate dipping kits, whipping cream or even champagne!”
California Giant currently has a promotion in place for the special occasion, as well as offering a contest to offer that extra push of incentives.
“We have a fun Valentine’s Day consumer promotion in place right now offering great recipes for the big day and a contest offering berries,” Cindy says.
To see the several recipes and temptations, go to the California Giant’s Valentine’s Day Dessert Guide here.
For more updates and ideas to go big in produce for the holidays, keep checking in with AndNowUKnow.