Bountiful California strawberry harvest on the way
California Giant Berry Farms anticipates giant volumes of organic and conventionally grown strawberries ahead, just in time for National Strawberry Month. The company reports its grower partners are on track to deliver peak promotable volumes of California strawberries led by its Santa Maria, Watsonville and Salinas growing regions.
“Our season started off strong, with healthy plants from the get-go,” said J.T. Tipton, district manager at California Giant Berry Farms. “Despite not receiving as much rain as typically desired in the winter, our plants have otherwise seen optimal growing conditions — which translates into the high-quality, sizeable and flavorful fruit California Giant is known for.”
Strawberry production is currently in the Santa Maria, Watsonville and Salinas, CA, growing regions, with the company’s Oxnard program adding supplemental volume going through mid-May. Peak volumes of conventional and organic strawberries from Santa Maria — pending any unforeseen, extreme weather events — are slated to arrive in time for Mother’s Day, with the Watsonville and Salinas growing ramping up to deliver peak volumes in late-May, ideal for Memorial Day celebrations.
“We’ve seen strong demand across the board,” said Nick Chappell, director of sales at California Giant Berry Farms. “We are on the cusp of delivering a significant supply for our partners during a time of increased retail demand. The fruit that will be arriving for National Strawberry Month, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day has outstanding quality.”
Demand for strawberries has been surging, according to data from IRI/Freshlook, with retail dollar sales of strawberries up 14.9 percent from one year ago. “We see this increase in demand in part due to consumers seeking to make health-conscious choices, and the health benefits of strawberries — especially their high vitamin C content — act as a major draw,” said Chappell.
To support the expected influx of strawberries, California Giant will employ a consumer engagement sweepstakes to build brand awareness, drive purchase intent for fresh berries and share the smiles and health benefits that berries deliver.
Through the shared industry goal to drive significant increases in strawberry consumption, California Giant continues to deliver on its mission to deliver the best berry experience by providing a year-round supply of sustainably grown fresh berries that represent the highest standards for quality, consistency and smiles.