Oppy's Tony Illiano and Cathie MacDonald Discuss Cranberry Season and Holidays
- by Anne Allen
VANCOUVER, BC - Cranberries are the stars of the Thanksgiving spread—I will fight anyone who disagrees with me. Tart, gorgeous, and the perfect foil to heavy holiday dishes, these delicious red berries are the perfect adornment for holiday-themed lineups. And Oppy, the exclusive marketer of Ocean Spray cranberries, is here to back me up.
To find out more, I spoke to Tony Illiano, Senior Sales Representative, and Cathie MacDonald, Director of Marketing Services.
“All cranberries have been harvested as of last week and those in storage will be packed through December,” Tony says. “We are done with the Stevens variety—the Howes variety is what is currently in the market. About 80 percent of the crop is either of those two varieties with about 15 others taking up the remaining 20 percent.”
With similar volumes to last season, Tony reports to me that the quality has been good; a slight difference in volume may have been due to Massachusetts ending their season early.
“It is currently the busiest time of the year with Thanksgiving around the corner. Overall, this year has been totally normal,” he says.
Then it’s totally normal for me to wonder just how retailers can promote cranberries during the holidays—although it wouldn’t take much to convince me to put four or five bags into my shopping cart.
“We offer a range of POS materials, photography, videos, and more that encourage consumers to make their own fresh cranberry sauce, as well as other alternative suggestions on how to use cranberries,” Cathie explains to me. “Whether on cakes, for décor, or crafts (like wreaths, garlands, and more!), we look to share the versatility of cranberries. We also encourage the Buy 2, Freeze 1 message to make this year's cranberry season last even longer.”
Given that cranberries are steeped in holiday tradition, there’s no reason consumers shouldn’t be gobbling them up by the dozens!