Oppy expands year-round blueberry program
Bridging the gap between Mexico and the Pacific Northwest blueberry seasons, Oppy has cemented its position as a year-round blueberry supplier by adding North Carolina to its mix.
Oppy’s eastern U.S. customers can look forward to North Carolina blues beginning the last week in April or the first week in May, forecasted Category Manager of Blueberries Tim Crane.
Joining the Oppy team in mid-2022 with over 15 years of experience as a global produce buyer in the U.S. and U.K., Crane is taking his retail-based knowledge and applying it to Oppy’s future offerings. “North Carolina is an excellent spot to expand our scope and provide an alternative to California blueberries," he said. "With a particularly long season window, it has the potential to be the most extensive deal on the East Coast.”
Available in both conventional and organic, in a range of sizing including jumbo, blueberries will be packed in the Ocean Spray label in all preferred formats. With recognition across multiple grocery aisles, Ocean Spray bolsters 96 percent brand awareness in the produce section while creating cohesion in a category typically filled with label pollution.
“We expect a strong inaugural season. Our grower-partner is using state-of-the-art sorting and grading machinery but continuing to hand pick, which will make for a superior quality pack,” said Crane.
Having led the greenhouse category in recent years while elevating Canadian expansion into items like organic ginger and Spanish garlic, Executive Director of Berries and Canadian Category Development Aaron Quon added berries to his role at the beginning of the year after 15 years with Oppy. “I am excited to have made this transition and contribute to this growing category for Oppy and our customers,” said Quon.
Crane and Quon will work in tandem to bring this new item to market.