Bobalu Berries' Anthony Gallino Discusses Strawberry Market and COVID-19 Challenges
OXNARD, CA - “You can’t just stop the crop from growing, and you have to evolve your business—because the old norm is not the new norm,” begins Anthony Gallino, Vice President of Sales for Bobalu Berries. It’s a candid beginning to a conversation that explores how companies like Bobalu are navigating the waters of today’s ever-shifting market in the wake of challenges presented by COVID-19.
With its strawberry crop seeing exceptional quality, the grower is working hard to constantly converse with its retail partners to know where their needs must be met.
“The ordering patterns have been an eye-opener. We have tons of berries on the way, as we’re just moving into the peak in Oxnard. So, on our end, it’s business as usual,” Anthony explains. “But the norm for retail—their buying trends—essentially had to be completely reworked in this new era. They are finally starting to see reliant buying patterns emerge and how the consumer is settling into buying behaviors. For us, it’s about working hard with our partners and getting them the product they need when they need it and at the right price.”
With more consumers shopping on fixed incomes, Anthony stresses that everybody within the supply chain needs to work together in communicating the value of fresh produce beyond the hardware items.
“People want to eat healthy right now, and we are working with our buying partners to help the consumer by providing healthy and delicious products like our berries at a price they can afford. We can’t really rely on trends that we’ve used in the last few years. It’s a whole new game now. I give the retail world a lot of credit to be able to adapt this quickly to keep flow moving,” he remarks. “So, we have to keep working with our trading partners to provide value, and berries fit that bill as spring brings us peak volume.”
Berries do provide this value, as they offer consumers healthy options rich with antioxidants. And with an abundance of berries available now through June, Anthony explains that Bobalu is ready to tackle any and all changes that head its way.
As Anthony and I discussed in our conversation, the produce industry has always been capable of weathering storms, and we shall weather this one as we’ve always done: together.