Naturipe Farms' Vinnie Lopes, Scott Norman, and Mario Flores Discuss Boosted Berry Volume
- by Laura Hillen
SALINAS, CA - It seems as though California’s rainy season has officially given way to our famous sunshine, with California berries heating up as well. With warmer weather comes increased opportunities to tap in on heightened consumer demand, and Naturipe Farms is reporting boosted volumes for all of its categories.
The team at Naturipe recently sat down with me to discuss all things berries, and where the season is heading as consumers continue to put strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries at the top of their shopping baskets.
“With such beautiful weather as we’ve seen this year so far, berries are coming on more abundantly and beautifully than ever,” Vinnie Lopes, VP Sales, West, tells me. “We’re expecting a full crop of all four berries this season.”
Naturipe Farms is currently in peak supply for both its year-round conventional and organic strawberries out of California, with heavy volumes expected until October.
“We’ve seen record volume on our conventional and organic strawberries over the past several weeks, and expect that to continue into mid-fall,” Vinnie continues. “Consumption is increasing, and Naturipe will have plenty of product for consumers enjoy the bounty that Naturipe strawberry growers are producing in our 100th year of farming.”
Vinnie says that this year is especially notable for strawberries as the company has increased its organic production to penetrate broader markets.
“Organic strawberry production is in full fold mode with weekly promotional opportunities, and we’re offering larger pack sizes than ever before of organic and shipping them fresh daily,” Vinnie continues.
Scott Norman, Director of Blackberry/Raspberry Product Management, says that the company’s Georgia blackberries are coming into shape, and that we can expect promotion opportunities on Georgia Blackberries, loading June 12–30.
California is also boding well for raspberries and blackberries, as both programs are beginning to ramp up this season.
“We’ve increased acreage in Watsonville of our proprietary blackberry variety, Madeline, and expect to begin picking in July. Naturipe is very excited to get this product out to the public,” Scott shares. “We’re also looking forward to our season of proprietary variety raspberries: Gema and Pacific Starlet, which are picking now out of Santa Maria and Watsonville.”
Consumers looking for blueberries can also look to Naturipe this season, as the company sees a strong supply coming for both organic and conventional coming out of California.
“California conventional blueberries are increasing in volume, and organic blueberries are moving into peak volume mode,” Mario Flores, Director of Blueberry Product Management, tells me. “This is perfect timing as our Southeastern blueberries finish up their season.”
To secure both impulse purchases and repeat sales, retailers can expect a steady supply of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries from Naturipe Farms to give retail and foodservice operators opportunity to promote weekly and maintain EDLP programs.
With berries ramping up, continue to count on AndNowUKnow for all the latest updates.