Wish Farms' Amber Maloney Talks Strawberries and March Showers
- by Geneva Hutcheson
PLANT CITY, FL - Wish Farms and its magical mascot Misty the Garden Pixie begin shipping their berry sweet summer treats this month, with shipments out of Santa Maria, California, beginning April 2nd and Salinas, California, shipments following shortly after.
Though high volumes are a few weeks behind after the challenging March weather, Amber Maloney, Director of Marketing, is happy to report that the company expects the crop to bounce-back by the end of April with steady volumes of excellent quality berries.
“The Cabrillo and Monterrey varieties have historically yielded us nicely shaped and great tasting berries. We expect that to continue this season,” Amber says. “Supply is currently tight. Demand exceeds supply for the Easter holiday and going into April. Coupled with high demand, prices have gone up substantially within the last couple of weeks, but there will be plenty of promotable volume before Mother’s Day; a popular holiday to push strawberries.”
When I ask Amber how retailers can tap into the popularity of strawberries to drive sales for upcoming spring and summer holidays, she explains that sampling events are a wonderful way to get berries moving.
“Sampling events are an effective way to excite the shopper’s senses right there in the store,” she elaborates. “We’ve found that when a consumer has the opportunity to sample strawberries and has a positive in-store experience, it energizes even the most skeptical consumers to make a purchase. One tactic we’ve seen used effectively is tie-in merchandising. When products are displayed in close proximity to berries, it is a great way to get the consumer’s attention. When these pairings are readily available it provides a shopper with some inspiration, generally making the decision to purchase easier.”
With summer glimmering on the horizon and blue skies in sight, it will soon be a great time to market strawberries as a refreshing reprieve from warm weather. And, with all of the holidays summer brings, opportunities to sell large volumes of strawberries abound.
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