Driscoll's Announces Pursuit of Flavor Miniseries Alongside Season’s Finest Blackberries

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Fri. April 6th, 2018 - by Geneva Hutcheson

WATSONSVILLE, CA - Nothing reminds me so much of the peace and sweetness of childhood as fresh-picked blackberries on a long summer hike. Driscoll’s has been working to expose more consumers to that sweet and sentimental taste with a year-round growing season, tastier berries, and a six-part miniseries that gives consumers the supply-end knowledge for which they’ve been longing.

The miniseries, which can be found in full on Driscoll’s website at www.driscolls.com/Pursuit-of-Flavor, is timed to release alongside the introduction of Driscoll’s Season’s Finest Blackberries, a premium, limited-time offering aimed to provide berry lovers with a truly exceptional flavor experience. I spoke with Gavin Sills, Global Plant Breeding Director, and Diane Scalisi, Senior Digital Marketing Manager, to discuss blackberries and the impetus and intention of the miniseries.

Diane Scalisi, Senior Digital Marketing Manager, Driscoll's“The digital marketing team at Driscoll’s has really seen, especially over the last few years, that consumers are really demanding to know where their food comes from and also how it’s produced. We’ve seen that whenever we publish content on social media, on our website, or send it out through our email program, the content that is most engaged with is the information about where the food comes from and all of the processes that go into growing and breeding it. The stuff can be really complex, but we’re finding that consumers insist that they find out about those processes,” Diane explains.

Luckily for the team at Driscoll’s, Gavin is ensuring that both the berries' origin and the berries themselves will satisfy everyone from the pickers in the fields to the consumers at home. The blackberry category has experienced a 25 percent increase in annual consumption since 2011 and has reached nearly 10 million new households, based on data reported by The Nielsen Company, but Gavin still sees room for growth.

Gavin Sills, Global Plant Breeding Director, Driscoll's“From the breeding side, I feel fortunate to have been handed such a strong foundation by my predecessor and all the people who came before him as well. At Driscoll’s, we’re all about flavor. We like to think of our customers and our consumers and break berry traits down as to who we’re serving. In addition to tasting great, we hope they look good; we hope they sit on the shelf and maintain good condition. We work all that out and then get the grower a good yield. Blackberries have always had the potential; it’s just that we’re putting all the pieces together little by little,” Gavin elucidates.

In a recent press release, Frances Dillard, Global Brand Lead and Director of Marketing, drew the connection between Gavin’s work and the miniseries.

Frances Dillard, Director of Marketing, Global Brand Lead, Driscoll's“At Driscoll’s, we’re on a continuous journey to live up to our brand promise of Only the Finest Berries,” said Frances. “This groundbreaking miniseries is a part of our strategy to build brand equity by sharing how Driscoll’s uniquely pursues the art and science of creating a truly differentiated product.”

The ‘Pursuit of Flavor’ miniseries also includes an episode featuring Driscoll’s Chairman J. Miles Reiter, a fourth-generation grower and the grandson of one of Driscoll’s founders. Other episodes in the series highlight the past, present, and future of each of the four berries, through the art and science of natural plant breeding and the philosophy of pioneering superior flavor through proprietary berry varieties.

It seems I am not the only one who feels sentimental about the berry. When I asked Gavin what makes him passionate about growing blackberries, he exclaims, “It’s easy to work in blackberries!”

“They really have been untapped. I don’t see any limitations; it’s just a matter of time before we’re a blackberry company,” Gavin jokes.

To follow the blackberry category’s rise to the top, keep reading AndNowUKnow.