California strawberries are in peak season. Harvest in Oxnard has recently been completed and has shifted about 100 miles north. “We are now in peak production in the Santa Maria region,” says Jerry Moran with Naturipe Farms. “From there, we will move up to Watsonville and Salinas as these regions approach their peak season at the end of May and into early June.” Typically, the peak season for California strawberries starts at the beginning of May and continues through the end of June. Promotional volumes are expected to be available for that same time frame.
Demand for healthy foods up
Moran has seen the demand for strawberries remain healthy and steady in the last few years. “From a retail standpoint, we’ve seen an increase in demand and it’s not slowing down anytime soon,” he commented. In fact, these unusual times have made consumers increasingly conscious about purchasing healthy foods. “Today’s consumer is very well aware of all the health benefits berries have to offer,” Moran said. “Strawberries are naturally high in vitamin C with one serving of eight berries containing 99 percent of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C. Now more than ever, consumers are looking for foods they can incorporate into their diet to help strengthen their immune systems, and strawberries are a perfect fit.”
Fewer trips, larger packs
Not only is Moran seeing great demand for strawberries during the pandemic, he also notices the popularity of larger pack sizes. “These unusual times have consumers making fewer one-off trips to their supermarkets, and instead they stock up on their groceries all in one larger trip. As a result, we are seeing an increased demand for our two-pound packs of strawberries,” he shared. The strawberries that are currently being harvested are a great fit for retail promotions. “These are some of the largest and most flavorful strawberries customers will find all year, and we expect to see this quality and flavor throughout the summer months.” Naturipe’s strawberries are distributed in the US and exported to Canada and Mexico.