Summer means heat, and heat means people are in search of cool, refreshing recipes.

Summer is also a time for patriotic pride, which can influence consumer’s choices of berry recipes.

Watsonville, Calif.-based California Giant Berry Farms Inc., has several summer-themed recipes that lend themselves well to summer holiday parties, whether for Independence Day or any weekend barbecue,

Consumers beat the heat with berry recipes“July is a great time for the trade to promote both strawberries and blueberries, capitalizing on the patriotic look of the red and blue colors,” said Cindy Jewell, the company’s director of marketing.

But those trends don’t end after July Fourth. Labor Day also provides a great opportunity for flag-themed treats.

“This is a great time of year to incorporate all of our fresh berries into summer menus adding flavor, color and innovation in menus for everyday or family and friends gathering for summer holidays and vacations,” Jewell said.

Marcos Nuques, West Coast sales manager, Giumarra International Berry, Los Angeles, says summer is a great time to think about using berries for outdoor-event recipes.

“When entertaining at a picnic or barbecue, they make a great addition to drinks such as lemonade, punch, ice tea and cocktails,” he said in an e-mail.

And the warm-weather recipe ideas are endless, according to marketers.

“If served fresh or with a dessert, their sweet flavor is highlighted, but they also enhance more savory dishes,” Nuques said.

When it’s hot outside, recipes that don’t require cooking are popular ways to use summer berries.

“We really try to focus on providing fun, refreshing recipes and ideas for our consumer followers to keep them out of the hot kitchen and instead creating cool snacks and meals the family can enjoy together and with friends,” Jewell said.

Ice cream is one especially popular berry recipe.

California Giant has recipes for fresh strawberry ice cream made with white chocolate chips and blueberry cheesecake ice cream featured on their website for summer.

“Fresh berries are great for ice cream recipes like those. Those types of recipes are popular,” Jewell said.

The trend for using berries in frozen treats goes beyond just ice cream.

“Blueberries are a natural addition to smoothies and popsicles. Even frozen blueberries by themselves are refreshing,” Nuques said.

California Giant is doing a summer berry smoothie promotion featuring consumer recipes.

Not only do berries work well for consumers in the summer, those trends make marketing a little easier.

“The longer days and warmer weather certainly allows for more flexibility regarding what recipes, usage tips and activities we talk about,” said Kyla Oberman, marketing manager for Naturipe Farms LLC, Estero, Fla.

For example, berries make a great healthy snack for summer, and marketers like to capitalize on that idea with ready-to-eat packs that are great for on-the-go eating. Those individual-sized packs make snacking in the car or outside the home easy and convenient, whether for adults or kids.

“Blueberries are also a great snack to bring for hiking or trekking. They’re easily portable and provide energy with hydrating, juicy flavor,” Nuques said.