Berry Fresh’s Laudan Chaffin Anticipates Berry Season Ahead

From And Now u Know | 12 March 2024

Overview of berries from Mexico in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on March 11, 2024.

DOMINGUEZ HILLS, CA – Nothing screams spring quite like a beautiful bunch of berries calling to consumers from the produce department. With spring nearly here, Berry Fresh is growing a variety of blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries to get retailers ready to meet seasonal demand.

“Mexico has had a slower start due to weather, but the spring flush is coming,” says Laudan Chaffin, Marketing Director. “At Berry Fresh, we are most excited about our Sweet Karoline® blackberries. This variety is already building excitement in the market through word-of-mouth, our retail customers, and our own marketing. It’s the blackberry to change all blackberry-haters’ minds; it’s beautifully dark, with a good crunch, and sweet with every bite-sized morsel.”

Sounds like poetry to my blackberry-loving ears! And they will look just as pleasant to shoppers as they check out the berry patch in the produce department.

all commodities volumes 1

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

As Berry Fresh begins its season for Sweet Karoline®, the supplier is also growing Sekoya® blueberry varieties and trialing several other premium genetic blueberry programs on its farms in Mexico. It is also ramping up its Daniela™ raspberry program, coming from the company’s Mexico farms.

Over the last few years, Berry Fresh has invested in increasing its owned acreage in Mexico, planting all proprietary varieties.

“We are growers first and foremost; growers founded us and have expanded our growing operations across the globe,” adds Laudan. “Owning our own growing operations means that we have better control over quality and surety of supply. As growers, we know that better genetics is the future. Across our owned operations, we constantly trial new varieties to provide an unforgettable eating experience with every berry.”

When the summer domestic season begins, Berry Fresh grows many different premium varieties of blueberries on its farm in Oregon and, excitingly, will be trialing its Sweet Karoline® blackberries there as well this year.

With plants still ramping and weather remaining volatile, Berry Fresh is prepared for a tougher start to the season but is ready to help its retail partners succeed.

“When it comes to quality, our rigorous QC inspections are always adjusted to match the time of year and even in real-time, adjusting for weather events and mitigating any potential issues for the customer,” explains Laudan. “I’m proud to say that we have solid relationships with our retail partners, and to make a difficult category like berries work, communication is key! A surprise rain can wipe out promotable volume overnight, so constantly staying connected with our retailers means we have time to work with them to adjust the plan if needed.”

As Laudan advises, blueberry volumes are very strong, and blackberries and raspberries are doing well and will keep getting better as we get into the season. 

So, now is the time to get your berry patch in order for the season ahead.

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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