With a new supply, Oppy further safeguards its year-round blueberry programme.

March 28, 2023

With a new supply, Oppy further safeguards its year-round blueberry programme.
The newest growing area to be included in Oppy’s conventional and organic Ocean Spray berry offerings is North Carolina.

The top grower, marketer, and distributor of fresh produce from around the globe has solidified its place as a year-round blueberry supplier by including North Carolina in its mix, bridging the gap between Mexico and the Pacific Northwest blueberry seasons.

According to Tim Crane, category manager for blueberries at Oppy’s, North Carolina blues will start to be available to consumers in the Eastern United States either the last week of April or the first week of May.

With over 15 years of experience as a foreign produce buyer in the U.S. and the U.K., Crane joined the Oppy team in mid-2022 and is using his retail-based expertise to improve Oppy’s upcoming products. “North Carolina is a great place to broaden our horizons and offer a substitute for California strawberries. It could be the biggest transaction on the east coast because of the season window’s extended length.

Blueberries will be packaged in the Ocean Spray label in all favoured formats and will be readily available in conventional and organic varieties in a variety of sizes, including jumbo. Ocean Spray boosts 96% brand awareness in the produce aisle thanks to recognition in multiple grocery aisles, unifying a category that is usually rife with label pollution.

“We anticipate a successful debut season. Modern sorting and grading equipment is being used by our grower partner, but manual picking is still being done, which will result in a pack of higher quality, according to Crane.

Aaron Quon, Executive Director of Berries and Canadian Category Development, added berries to his position at the beginning of the year after 15 years with Oppy, where he had led the greenhouse category in recent years while elevating Canadian growth into products like organic ginger and Spanish garlic. For Oppy and our customers, I am thrilled to have made this transition and add to this expanding category, said Quon.

Together, Crane and Quon will sell this novel product.