LAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, Mass., May 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The stage is set to expand the 87-year-old Ocean Spray® brand — with many sweet things to come.
In a natural extension of the relationship formed in 2003 to market Ocean Spray fresh cranberries, Oppy and its partner berry growers are now shipping fresh strawberries and blueberries from California under an Ocean Spray® brand.
Ultimately, a range of berries, including blackberries and raspberries, will join strawberries and blueberries as part of the Family Farmer Owned™ brand of fresh produce. The program expands and elevates Oppy's berry offerings, delivering fruit of high quality and great flavor in a familiar and trusted label. This expansion also establishes a year-round fresh berry presence for the Ocean Spray® brand.
"Ocean Spray was founded by three cranberry growers looking to expand the market for their fruit," said Clark Reinhard, vice president of innovation for Ocean Spray. "The brand is well known across multiple grocery aisles but our presence in produce has been limited to just a few months of the year. The perimeter of the grocery store is growing fast and by collaborating with Oppy our brand will be on fresh, high quality produce from family farms year round."
The Ocean Spray® brand bolsters Oppy's strategic push in the berry category, according to James Milne, vice president of marketing. "We conducted extensive research throughout North America over the past year and discovered a genuine enthusiasm for berries. There is a clear opportunity for a strong brand like Ocean Spray® to enter the market and capture people's imaginations. This new innovation will disrupt an established category and offer a surprising new berry experience to the trade and consumers alike."
Following California strawberries and blueberries, the Ocean Spray® Family Farmer Owned™ brand will feature fruit produced by Oppy domestic berry growers in the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, and its international network of family farmers.
"Consumers should ultimately understand that when they see the Ocean Spray logo anywhere in the world they are supporting family farms- the same way they do buying at their local farmer's market," said Reinhard. "While cranberries remain at the heart of what we do, bringing other berries to market under the same brand will be a huge benefit to growers, retailers and ultimately the consumer."
"Partnering with Ocean Spray enables us to simultaneously deliver new value to our grower partners and our retail customers," said David Smith, Oppy president and chief marketing officer. "Berry growers everywhere understand the stature of the Ocean Spray® brand and are engaging with the opportunity. Meanwhile we're providing our retail partners the exciting option of high quality strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries packed in a label of high consumer awareness and appeal."
Smith notes that the timing is advantageous for all, with berry category sales at retail elevating 15 percent in the last two years, while also realizing average-price-per-pound gains. IRI data shows that berry sales volume has increased throughout the U.S., while branded produce is earning greater dollar share throughout the category.
About Ocean Spray
Ocean Spray is a vibrant agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry and grapefruit growers in the United States, Canada and Chile who have helped preserve the family farming way of life for generations. Formed in 1930, Ocean Spray is now the world's leading producer of cranberry juices, juice drinks and dried cranberries and is the best-selling brand in the North American bottled juice category.
The cooperative's cranberries are currently featured in more than a thousand great-tasting, good-for-you products in over 100 countries worldwide. With more than 2,000 employees and nearly 20 cranberry receiving and processing facilities, Ocean Spray is committed to managing our business in a way that respects our communities, employees and the environment. For more information visit: www.oceanspray.com or www.oceanspray.coop.
For close to 160 years, Oppy has discovered and delivered the best of the world's harvest. Whether partnering with outstanding international growers to bring sustainable fresh produce to local shores or marketing and distributing North American fruit and vegetables around the globe, Oppy proudly sources over 100 varieties of produce from more than 25 countries each and every day.
Oppy began offering cranberries some 50 years ago, marketing other berries in 2003, building category offerings to include strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and cranberries exponentially in the last half decade. Through strategic and economic partnerships with Rincon Fresh, Harvest 52 and Ocean Spray®, Oppy is now a growing competitive force in the fresh berry category.
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SOURCE Ocean Spray