Oppy's Jason Fung Discusses Happy Berry™ Advantages in Leadup to Valentine's Day
SANTA MARIA, CA - Timing may not be everything in fresh produce, but it is integral. And it is a component Oppy incorporated well in the launch of its new Ocean Spray® Happy Berry™ hydroponic strawberry brand with New Wave Berry, a joint venture with agricultural investment firm Farmers Gate and family-owned agribusiness Red Dog Management. Because love is in the air.
“Retailers should know that the Happy Berry brand, with its playful logo and bright, gold label, aligns incredibly well with Valentine’s Day and is perfect for holiday merchandising. The majority of respondents indicated a willingness to pay a premium for hydroponic strawberries,” says Oppy Vice President of Categories and Strategy Jason Fung.
In fact, consumer testing reported that the brand aligned with positive, joyful, and happy sentiments, eliciting key attributes like high quality, fresh taste, sustainability, and more. And that is not the only thing putting the “happy” in Happy Berry.
Strawberries are already a mainstay for the rapidly approaching Valentine’s Day, but Happy Berry hydroponic strawberries add a new twist to the stalwart, making them stand out on the shelf. Among the key selling points are exceptional quality and overall consistency.
“While we are certainly delivering an excellent strawberry experience during this key holiday for the item, Happy Berry strawberries are grown year-round in a protected ecosystem while reducing the need for chemical inputs and eliminating ground fumigation. On top of using dramatically less water, because they’re grown closer together, their high yield leaves a smaller footprint,” Jason says.
Weather disruptions can also offer frequent challenges during this time of year, especially for a traditionally delicate product, something Oppy and its partners are able to manage the elements in the hydroponic setting.
“On tabletops under protective hoops we can provide high-quality, consistent berries for this holiday that has high demand for strawberries,” Jason assures me. And, as we reported previously, Happy Berry strawberries address three of the biggest macro-level challenges we continue to face as an industry: land, water, and labor. “While it doesn’t completely solve all of these issues, it absolutely puts resources in the right places.”
The hydroponic method optimizes land with higher yields per acre, utilizing seamless troughs and a precise irrigation system that Jason and his team says safeguards water reclamation and optimization.
“And we are attracting labor considering the quality of work involved in tending plants at chest height, so we are seeing a hopeful shift in these challenges,” he comments.
Nationwide distribution is starting now, with significant future growth already on the horizon going into the next year and beyond. With more acres, reach, and availability on deck for Oppy and its retail partners, this is certainly a brand to keep in your sights.