PMA Fresh Connections - Retail April 10-11, 2019 - Philadelphia, PA

Strawberries are a quintessential warm weather treat: juicy, bright, and versatile! Delicious in breakfast favorites like smoothies and pancakes, lunch must-haves like salads, and dinner center-plate delights like fillets—there are few culinary destinations where strawberries have not found a home, and this summer is no exception...


 

 Ajit Saxena,
Digital Media Coordinator, Mucci Farms

“I absolutely love strawberries, but, living in Ontario, it was always difficult to find great quality and flavor because the peak season for the best berries felt really short. Since working at Mucci Farms, a company dedicated to growing flavorful strawberries in a clean environment free of pesticides and inclement weather, I finally got to taste them the way they are supposed to—and I was blown away! The ability to control nutrients and temperatures really helps maximize the sweetness and fresh taste of strawberries, and it’s obvious when you taste them. Every bite feels like spring. In addition to having an impact on consumers, I think that this focus on flavor will impact chefs and dessert menus as well. It’s difficult to create menus and dishes when you have inconsistent flavor, so I think greenhouse industry strawberries will create new opportunities. Personally, I love strawberries with dark chocolate or dipped in dark chocolate!  Our Strawberry Mango Dip is my favorite recipe use of strawberries.”

 

Frances Dillard,
Director, Marketing and Global Brand Lead, Driscoll’s®

“We have a saying here at Driscoll’s—we’ve been the strawberry in America's shortcake for more than 100 years. Our brand’s heritage started with fresh strawberries, and in the early 1850s, consumers created Strawberry Shortcake Parties to herald the start of summer. Today, strawberry shortcakes of all ingredient twists and variations are still a tradition in many homes, including mine. Let’s face it, even a store-bought angel food cake topped with fresh berries and homemade whipped cream is a delicious treat. As the leading fresh berry brand, Driscoll’s offers our berry advocates tons of information on our website—from recipes to berry care and handling. We do our best to live up to our promise of Only the Finest Berries™.”

 

Amber Maloney,
Director of Marketing, Wish Farms

“Strawberries are a destination item in the produce department. When looking at consumer data and demand trends, we find that consumers are purchasing strawberries every visit to the grocery store, not just for special occasions. Fresh strawberries are certainly a staple item in my shopping cart. My 16-month-old daughter eats them every morning for breakfast. There’s nothing cuter than her big smile, paired with strawberry juice running down her chin as she enjoys a sweet strawberry. In my eyes, being able to serve a nutritious and flavorful treat that my daughter loves is a huge #momwin!”

 

 
Caitlin Tierney,
Director of Produce, 99 Cents Only

“Have you ever made strawberry jam from scratch? Coming from Michigan, I grew up making and canning it in the summer so that I could have a little taste of sweet summer in the bitter winter. Now, living in California, I can taste the fresh sweet summer all year long without adding sugar! Strawberries at 99 Cents Only Stores are our number one produce sales driver. This year, with our key grower partners, we were able to offer strawberries 50 weeks out of the year at 99 cents. Our customers go nuts for them, as they know that you don’t need to be wealthy to eat healthy at our stores!” 

 

 


Scot Olson, 
Vice President of Produce & Floral, Grocery Outlet

“Berries are the most exciting category within a produce department! Although, price, for us here at Grocery Outlet, is always an important factor, quality can, at times, be a bigger determining factor for better sales when it comes to berries. In my opinion, there is no other item within produce that can drive better impulse sales than a package of beautiful, red, ripe, sweet, and aromatic strawberries! This berry category used to be all about strawberries. However, with blueberries being crowned a superfood, we see blueberries taking over and beating out strawberries in sales during certain times of the year. With growers developing better-quality raspberries and blackberries, these too have really helped us increase sales and excitement within the category. Berries drive anywhere from 5 to 10 percent of our sales, with peak sales hitting in the month of June. Merchandising this category is also so versatile! As you build Berry Patch displays, you can use our front coolers, display on-field bins, stack them on 10 highs in front of the check stands—there really are no limits as to what you can do with berries, making it one of my personal favorites! On the personal side, my favorite way to enjoy berries at home is to utilize Dolci Frutta Chocolate to dip large beautiful strawberries in! This is second only to buying large 18 oz containers of fresh blueberries to freeze for making smoothies!”