As the weather warms and the California strawberry industry heads toward late spring and early summer production, Well-Pict Berries is expecting great-tasting berries and excellent supplies.
“We are currently transitioning from Oxnard to Watsonville,” said Jim Grabowski, director of marketing for the Watsonville, CA-based company. “Oxnard is winding down and Watsonville is just getting started, expecting to make large increases over the next few weeks.”
He said June would be an especially good month for Watsonville production with the addition of raspberries.
“Both should be plentiful for June and July, as will organic strawberries,” he said. “Our crops are looking fantastic. We are anticipating a plentiful crop that will elevate our sales for spring and well into the summer.”
He added that the current berry profile is following the standard set in February and March, “our early season harvest yielded great looking berries with an exceptional flavor profile.”
With significant production in the Oxnard district, which is in Southern California’s Ventura County, as well as Watsonville, which is above the Salinas Valley, Well-Pict can offer berries 12 months of the year.
“Our California berry program is predominately out of Watsonville and Oxnard,” he said. “The Watsonville growing season runs from April through October and offers a coastal climate that provides exceptional conditions for growing berries. Our network of independent growers allows us to have a 12-month growing season. The Southern California region has moderate temperatures with plenty of sunshine. Oxnard has two harvests — January through May and October through December, respectively.”
Grabowski noted that Well-Pict is currently engaged in expanding its raspberry program. “Our goal is to get to a 12-month supply of raspberries,” he said.
The company’s newest offering for the retail trade will be the release of a digital retailer kit this summer. “The kit will include a variety of social media and other digital promotional tools to help retailers give their customers the best Well-Pict Berries experience,” Grabowski said. “The goal of the retailer kit is to increase berry sales and promotions with digital and social media marketing through retailer channels.”
Along with the retail kit coming out this summer, Well-Pict advises retailers to go to its retailer page on its website, wellpict.com/retailers. There they will find the grower-shipper’s retailer blog, which features sales aids for different seasons and occasions.
Grabowski said the Well-Pict Berry Academy continues to be a popular training tool for retailers. “Inside there are lessons from the field, to cold chain management, to retailer displays and anyone who logs on is able to take our ‘quiz’ and even graduate with a Well-Pict Berry Academy Certificate,” he said.