Posts Tagged “California Giant Berry Farms”

Peak Volume Strawberry Shipments Coming from California Giant

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WATSONVILLE, CA – A bountiful summer of California strawberries is ahead for California Giant Berry Farms as the company forecasts huge volumes of the company’s cornerstone product.

The berry purveyor’s high yields and forecast for excellent quality fruit come following a later-than-average start for some of its growing regions—but despite this, the company is on track to deliver peak volumes of California strawberries.

“2023 was a challenging year for some of our growing regions,” said Andy Rice, vice president of field operations and product supply at California Giant Berry Farms. “Ultimately, weather impacted crops early on—from above average amounts of rain, flooding or uncharacteristically cold weather. Like most California production, our production curve was shifted, and peak promotable volumes are arriving, albeit later than average.” 

Out of the Santa Maria region, California Giant is reporting sizeable, high-quality fruit. The region is amid its peak volume window, which is forecasted to maintain through mid-June.

The Watsonville and Salinas growing region—despite initial weather challenges—are seeing week-over-week increase in volumes, with estimates projecting substantial harvested volumes beginning mid-June and spanning to early-August. Due to the area’s late start, the company is forecasting fruit will be available late into summer. The region’s ranches are reporting excellent quality and flavor, alongside sizable fruit.  

California Giant’s peak promotable volumes come at a time when consumers are enjoying berries more than ever. Recent USDA data reports that gains in retail per capita consumption for berries have been very strong compared with many other fresh fruits. Strawberries consumption specifically has grown from 4.6 pounds in 2011 to 6.7 pounds in 2021, an overall gain of 45%. 

To support the expected influx of strawberries, California Giant employs Instacart advertising and Ibotta consumer promotions to drive purchase intent for fresh berries. In correlation, the brand will launch consumer engagement sweepstakes to further drive brand awareness and demand. 

Through the shared industry goal to drive significant increases in strawberry consumption, California Giant continues 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.

About California Giant Berry Farms 

California Giant Berry Farms grows and ships berries to retailers, and foodservice providing an all-season supply of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. The privately owned company has been in business 40 years.   


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Giant Berry Farms Expecting Strong Winter Shipments from Florida, Mexico

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Strong winter strawberry shipments, led by its Florida and Mexico growing regions, is predicted by California Giant Berry Farms, headquartered in Watsonville, CA.

The company reports its 2021-2022 Florida strawberry season started strong, with the long term weather outlook appearing to be better than a year ago. Florida strawberry shipments got underway in time for Christmas and peak shipments are expected in mid-February – around Valentine’s Day.

The strong forecast comes at a critical time for California Giant, as strawberry volumes are tight, following heavy rains in October that ended much of the Watsonville/Salinas growing season. Concurrently, the Santa Maria fall crop finished, as colder temperatures and wet weather becomes more frequent.

In addition to the strong Florida crop forecast, California Giant’s strawberry production shipments from Central Mexico are expected to continually increase in the coming months, with the growing regions season in its early stages. The region, known for its traditionally strong winter harvest is on track to produce as expected.

Florida strawberries and vegetables – grossing $4000 and more to New York City.

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California Giant’s Strong Peruvian Blueberry Season Makes for Supplies Year-Round

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By California Giant Berry Farms

WATSONVILLE, CA – After a bountiful domestic season, California Giant Berry Farms is anticipating a high-quality, on-time start to the import season thanks to its Peruvian-grown blueberries.

This strong harvest in Peru – coupled with a 100% increase in volume – means retailers will be able to market fresh blueberries from California Giant Berry Farms branded year-round.

The Peruvian harvest begins this month on time “and in some cases a bit earlier,” Nadar Musleh, Executive Director of International Business Development, California Giant Berry Farms, explained. “We project U.S. arrivals to begin in early September. Production will continue through December in Peru, then we’ll continue with production in Chile through March – meaning retailers will be able to offer their shoppers a consistent supply of our high-quality California Giant blueberries year-round.”

“Blueberries in general are having a very good season in Peru with a 25-30% increase over last year’s volumes, and California Giant in particular is outpacing this production increase by doubling our volume over last year,” said Musleh.

Through expanded acreage and maturing fields at its three state-of-the-art production facilities in Peru, California Giant will have more varieties to offer customers this year – including Ventura, Biloxi, Kestrel and Bianca – which allows for supplies to reach even more areas in the U.S.

In addition, by increasing both organic and conventional production, “we also will be able to offer organic product to U.S. customers every week this fall and winter without interruption,” Musleh added.

California Giant Berry Farms started small. Cousins Pat Riordan and Bill Moncovich teamed up with best friend Frank Saveria to sell strawberries from a simple trailer in Watsonville, CA. Nearly 40 years later, California Giant has grown into a global family of people passionate about delivering the best strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries in the most sustainable way. Quality, consistency and community inspire the mission and values of: Community, Quality, Philanthropy, Fairness, and Mutual Respect is what continues to sustain us. Because the bigger the smile, the better.


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California Strawberry Season to Have Heavy Shipments

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California strawberry shipments in the Salinas-Watsonville area kicked off at the end of March, in time to meet increased demand for berries spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Volumes of California strawberries will be plentiful this season, according to a news release from California Giant Berry Farms, Watsonville.

Nick Chappell, director of retail sales for the berry company, said in the release that Oxnard harvest will peak by mid-April and Santa Maria strawberry volumes are “continuing to increase with volumes unlike we have seen in years.”

“Not only are we about to have momentous supply for our partners during a time of increased retail demand, but all regions are producing exceptional quality to kick-start the spring season.”
Sales data from IRI show that berry category sales for the week ending March 15 saw an increase of almost 32 percent from the same period in 2019.

 California Giant started an e-mail marketing campaign in late March targeting its most engaged consumers — a.k.a the “Berry Squad” — in the company’s database.

“With the uncertainties and difficulties families are currently facing, we wanted to offer an incentive and support to shoppers that are looking to stock up on fresh, nutritious berries on their grocery runs,” Chappell said in the release.

Digital connectivity and communities are becoming more important as consumers limit contact with others because of the virus. Marketing Manager Morgan Maitoza said a recent customer response statement to consumers and trade customers received a high “open rate” of 43%.

“While routines and realities look very different for families across the nation at this time, our goal is to continue to connect with our shoppers, provide helpful, relatable and comforting content and attainable recipes with ingredients and pantry staples shoppers may already have in their own homes, while adding in the sweetness, diversity and nutritional benefits of berries,” Maitoza said in the release.

In April, California Giant will have a new promotion focusing on heavy volume periods with a “Back to the Basics” theme, as consumers spend more time at home and find comfort in food, according to the release.

Ventura County strawberries and vegetables – grossing $8000 to New York City.

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California Strawberry Shipper is Optimistic about 2017 Season

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dscn8612by California Giant Berry Farms

Watsonville, CA – With increased acreage and somewhat favorable weather conditions for berries this winter, California Giant Berry Farms is excited about the 2017 berry season.

Field personnel attending the annual California Giant sales meeting in December shared positive news about berry acreage statistics citing consistent increases for all berry types in 2017 as well as new varieties on tap.   For the first time in several years, the company has increased acreage in Oxnard due to positive test plot results and now sufficient availability of two new short day varieties.  For many years they have been making due with day neutral varieties better suited for northern districts, but this year the company is excited about the Petaluma and Fronteras varieties bringing new life to their Oxnard program.

California Giant has similar increases in acreage in other growing regions within the state and in Mexico on strawberries as well as increases overall in blueberry volume for the year, year-round blackberries and an emerging raspberry program for the fall of 2017.

In addition to acreage, the company is also very optimistic about the more normal winter weather pattern in California this year providing rainfall, good chill and excellent plant health for the spring and summer harvest season on strawberries.

This marks the second year in a row that rain has returned to the state and snow pack is almost at a normal range.

The rainfall in California does provide challenges on forecasting volume during the first quarter especially as trading partners gear up for Valentine’s Day and build demand for stem berries.  The sales team California Giant is already responding to requests and is optimistic about availability since they are sourcing product from California, Florida and Mexico.

January will continue to see weather events in each growing region but California Giant trading Partners can expect to receive regular updates from the California Giant team through their bi-weekly e-news called ‘The Buzz’.  It is easy to subscribe through the website or by contacting sales team members at California Giant.  This year-round electronic newsletter contains up to the minute crop information, field photos, weather updates and marketing programs in place to help build sales and consumer loyalty.

(Editor’s Note:  Oxnard (Ventura County) currently is shipping very limited strawberry volume.  Heaviest strawberry shipments are currently from the Plant City, FL area and to a lesser degree from Mexico.  Florida strawberries – grossing about $2800 to Chicago.

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