Bako Sweet Produce: California GrownRainier: Wholesome to the core®

 

Brain boosts, and heart health, and skin care, oh my! Blueberries help with an assortment of health-related issues, and while they can’t solve every problem, it certainly feels like they can. As consumers look to these tiny tools for healthy living, let’s dive into what some of our industry folks have to say…

 

Mike Roberts

MIKE ROBERTS
Director of Produce Operations • Harps Food Stores Inc.

“I am an avid blueberry buyer for our household and I buy a pint or two per week to go on my cereal, pancakes, or as a snack. It’s one of the first items we go to get when we go shopping. As for the ones that we sell at Harps, we see a lot of movement when we widen our allocation or promote them on displays in the middle of the department. The items that we see the most lift with our blueberries, or that our customers pick up with, are strawberries and apples. With cheese and milk being two dairy items that go with blueberries, we, in most stores, do have blueberries cross merchandised with the milk, as well.”

 

 

CarrieAnn Arias

CARRIEANN ARIAS
Vice President of Marketing • Naturipe Farms

“They may be small in size, however blueberries are big on flavor and health benefits! In fact, blueberries are famous for being packed with antioxidants. We love eating them fresh by the handful or reinventing recipes, like adding fresh, plump blueberries to the classic Thai Chicken Wrap. Blueberries are one of the few truly blue foods on earth, bringing so much color and flavor to this healthy dish.”

 


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Mike Lappin

MIKE LAPPIN
Director of Produce • Earth Fare

“As a known superfood packed with nutrients, blueberries are a big part of our business. I’m a huge fan of blueberries in general, but especially in smoothies. I add chia seeds, almond butter, bananas, and kale—one of my all-time favorite breakfasts.”

 

 

Cindy Jewel

CINDY JEWELL
Vice President of Marketing • California Giant Berry Farms

“There is an 11 percent increase in consumer purchase intent for blueberries from 2013 – 2017. Also, blueberries are a preferred fresh berry; strawberries and blueberries are tied for consumers’ top preferred fresh fruit, which tells me that now blueberries are becoming an everyday fruit. Consumers are more likely to purchase based on taste than health benefits. This is important because consumers are now buying with their heart instead of their brain and are less focused on antioxidant benefits as the primary reason to buy. Now consumers buy them because they love them, health, taste, versatility, and all!”

 

 

Frances Dillard

FRANCES DILLARD
Director of Marketing & Global Brand Lead • Driscoll’s

“When it comes to usage and consumption for blueberries, nothing beats blueberry pancakes. My Sundays are made a bit more special when my husband whips up a special batch of pancakes and adds Driscoll’s blueberries to the batter—100 percent happiness. When National Blueberry Pancake Day comes at the end of January each year, Driscoll’s celebrates blueberries in a big way with media coverage, food bloggers, and exclusive recipes. But truthfully, they are a year-round joy to promote. Driscoll’s recently introduced a jumbo blueberry variety that has a bigger size and great flavor. Consumer demand continues to increase and our focus is on proprietary berries that deliver great flavor—we want to live up to our brand promise of Only the Finest Berries.”

 

 

 

Cherie France

CHERIE FRANCE
Marketing Manager • Homegrown Organic Farms

“Growing up on the farm taught me to embrace (and love) the seasonality of produce. For me, blueberries are the definition of sweet summertime. Those little blue gems are nutrient dense and make healthy snacking easy and sweet. I love topping off a salad with blueberries or adding a few to my morning smoothie—although nothing beats eating them right off the bush. Either way, blueberries are a simple, yet delicious, way to get your daily dose of antioxidants, while also curbing those sweet-tooth cravings. I love having them as a staple in my summer diet.”

 

 

Leslie Simmons

LESLIE SIMMONS
Vice President • Dave’s Specialty Imports

“I love the versatility of the blueberry. It pairs so well with citrus fruit like lemon, lime, and orange, as well as herbs like basil and rosemary. They are amazing in a wide array of sweet and savory dishes, and they can even bring something interesting to a favorite cocktail. A buttermilk, blueberry-lemon pancake couldn’t make a Sunday morning any cozier and is certainly a family favorite at my house. I also have a special “home run” dessert I like to make that always pleases a crowd—a blueberry-peach cobbler with fresh whipped cream, topped with lime zest and candied ginger. It has so much flavor!”

 

 

Source | U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council