Berries should be plentiful for summer holiday promotional opportunities.

“The Watsonville crop is off to a good start. There will be plenty of volume for promotions around the summer holidays,” said Charlie Staka, sales director for CBS Farms, Watsonville, Calif.

“Our biggest promotional push will be in the month of June,” Staka said.

Others agree that the start of summer is an exciting time, because of berry availability and the opportunity for promotions surrounding popular spring and summer holidays.

“We’re always excited for Memorial Day and Fourth of July because it means summer is here. This year in particular should be a great crop for us, and we’re looking forward to seeing high volume this season out of California,” said Kyla Garnett, marketing manager for Naturipe Farms LLC, Estero, Fla.

Summer holiday promotions don’t have to be specific to each holiday, however. Some companies prefer to run promotions that cover the entire summer season.

“We don’t have any specific holiday campaigns set up, but our promotions will run through the summer for those time periods,” said Cindy Jewell, marketing director for Watsonville, Calif.-based California Giant Berry Farms.

Late summer push

Berries aren’t just for the summer, and grower-shippers want to make sure retailers continue to promote into the fall.

“One of our focuses is late season blueberries. Consumer demand for berries continues to grow, and we feel August through September will be a great time to have large berry promotions available at the retail level,” said Matt Curry, president of Curry & Co., Brooks, Ore.

Jewell agreed.

“Back-to-school time in August is also a great time,” she said.

In addition, cranberries also can provide creative display opportunities around the holidays later in the year.

“Looking ahead to the fall, Ocean Spray cranberries offer a unique merchandising opportunity. We suggest showcasing alternate usage, like decorating for the holidays or displaying in a vase with flowers,” said Nolan Quinn, berry category director for The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia.

These alternative uses can create opportunities for displays throughout the store, giving berries even more exposure.