FeBLUEary Update with Mario Flores and Brian Vertrees of Naturipe
SALINAS, CA - Though some may be experiencing a chill stateside, further south, blueberry season is heating up. I spoke with Naturipe Farms’ Mario Flores, the Director of Blueberry Product Management, and Brian Vertrees, Director of Business Development–West, about the grower’s clever new FeBLUEary campaign. The marketing move brings the all-American berry to the forefront of consumer-consciousness and provides retailers with a tool kit to promote the Chilean blueberry season.
“With the cool spring conditions and later crop timing this Chilean season,” Mario began, “we will have our late peak of blueberries from Southern Chile arriving the latter half of February. Organic blueberries, especially from Chile, will have a large peak late in February. Conventional arrivals will continue with good volumes of pints through February. This campaign will be a great support system for retailers.”
And, with Naturipe’s FeBLUEary campaign sure to ramp up berry sales through winter, this late February peak will come at an ideal time.
“FeBLUEary is a reason for folks to get as excited about fresh blueberries during the winter months as we get!” Brian said, “This campaign is two-fold, focused on both the consumer and the retailer to really impact sales. The key for retailers is to make sure blueberries are front and center in the produce department so that consumers understand that now is the peak of flavor and supplies.”
Naturipe launches this campaign as a collaboration with retailers.
“From signage to digital content,” Brian said, “we have them covered to ensure their customers are engaged and excited about blueberries in February. We are also supplying plenty of usage ideas for retailers to leverage. Blueberries are so versatile and part of the FeBLUEary story is highlighting these whether it be eating them fresh out of hand, adding to salads, or as a smoothie ingredient.”
Luckily, the blueberry crop will rise to meet these versatile demands, Brian continued.
“Currently, conventional volumes are already at promotable levels and will continue to increase as the best is yet to come in February with stronger volumes,” Brian said. “Organic blueberries are also an exciting topic for FeBLUEary as we will see peak volumes arriving the first few weeks of February. Retailers have the options to promote multiple pack sizes and can increase sales by taking advantage of pints and 18 oz. blueberries. The pints and 18 oz. are an exciting option for this time of the year and a great way for retailers to increase sales by upsizing consumers to a larger pack.”
To keep up-to-date on the crescendos of berry crops through this season and into the next, stay tuned to AndKnowUKnow.