California Giant reports peak strawberry volumes

From Produce Blue Book | 30 May 2023

Overview of strawberries from California in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on May 25, 2023. 

WATSONVILLE, CA – A bountiful summer of California strawberries is ahead for California Giant Berry Farms BB #:121061, as the company forecasts giant 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 promotable 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.

strawberry volumes by or 4

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

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 delivers the best berry experience for retailers, foodservice and consumers alike by providing an all-season supply of sustainably grown blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries that represent the highest standards for quality, consistency and smiles. Over the last 40 years, California Giant has grown into a global family of people passionate about delivering the berry best. Quality, consistency and community inspire the mission and values that continue to sustain them.

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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