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Berries are not only sweet and delicious, they’re also an easy-to-snack-on superfood rich in antioxidants, nutrients and phytochemicals. Not surprisingly, the popularity of this category continues to soar.
With $5.8 billion in annual sales, the berry category ranks No. 1 in total produce, notes the California Strawberry Commission, citing IRI/Freshlook Marketing data. Strawberries, which snag the No. 8 spot in produce, at $2.7 billion, contribute 4.5 percent to total produce sales, while berries contribute 9.4 percent.
Quality is key in the highly perishable berry category. With this in mind, Wish Farms, of Plant City, Fla., is partnering with Rubbermaid during the Florida blueberry and California strawberry seasons, to promote the new FreshWorks Produce Saver. Atlanta-based Rubbermaid has developed a technology that naturally balances the flow of oxygen into the container, while allowing carbon dioxide to escape, thereby keeping produce fresh up to 80 percent longer.
An on-pack coupon on Wish Farms 1-pound California strawberries and 6-ounce Florida blueberries will offer consumers a savings of $1.50 on any Rubbermaid FreshWorks container through July 1 or while promotional labels last.
Wish Farms has also recently revamped its blueberry label. The colors and font have been modernized, while a new yellow gingham design, above the Wish Farms logo, imparts a fresh-from-the-farm feel.
Additionally, the new labels more prominently feature Wish Farms’ www.HowsMyPicking.com call to action. A 16-digit number printed directly on each clamshell allows consumers to provide feedback and connect with information on the grower and packinghouse through the website.
Blueberries From Florida
“The Florida blueberry season has been off to a slower start than normal,” notes Amber Maloney, director of marketing for Wish Farms. “In the winter, growers didn’t have a lot of ‘chill hours,’ which are the number of hours that the temperature is below a certain degree,” she explains. The number of chill hours determines harvest time, and thus Florida’s warm winter has delayed this season’s blueberry harvest.
“There’s lots of fruit out there,” she’s quick to point out, however, “and we’re now getting into normal levels.”