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Oppenheimer deepens Ocean Spray blueberry program

by (Press Release) | May 16, 2011

“Ocean Spray” brand fresh blueberries will be available a month early this year thanks to The Oppenheimer Group’s shipments of the pint-sized powerhouse from North Carolina.

The Carolina Blueberry Association in Garland, NC, has teamed up with The Oppenheimer Group and Ocean Spray, which is based in Lakeville-Middleboro, MA, to enhance Ocean Spray’s branded fresh blueberry program, which also includes fruit from Argentina, Chile, New Jersey and British Columbia.

The North Carolina blueberry season begins in mid-May and extends through mid-July. It will dovetail into production from New Jersey in June and British Columbia in July, enabling retailers to carry “Ocean Spray” fresh blueberries from mid-May through September, according to Nolan Quinn, Oppenheimer’s berry category director.

“Oppenheimer is working toward year-round availability of ‘Ocean Spray’ fresh blueberries,” Mr. Quinn said in a press release. “By bringing in fruit from the high-quality growers at the Carolina Blueberry Association, we not only start the domestic season early, we have more fruit available for the first month of the summer, including the high-volume Independence Day promotional period.”

This is the first time the Carolina Blueberry Association will channel a portion of its fruit to the Ocean Spray program.

“The Carolina Blueberry Association is looking forward to its relationship with Oppenheimer,” Rod Bangert, general manager of the association, added in the press release. “The ‘Ocean Spray’ label is an internationally recognized player, and we are excited about the opportunities it presents.”

Scott Simmons, Ocean Spray’s general manager of fresh fruit, said that he welcomes the North Carolina-grown blueberries to the brand.

“We are looking forward to promoting ‘Ocean Spray’ fresh blueberries throughout the summer in various ways, including tie-ins with ‘Ocean Spray’ blueberry juice positioned in the produce department,” he said in the press release. “The new volume from North Carolina will help us jumpstart this program and involve more customers.”

The promotion will be executed via tear-pad leaflets and loyalty-card programs.

The blueberries will be available in one-pint clamshells. In addition to fresh blueberries, Oppenheimer also markets fresh cranberries and whole dried cherries, cranberries and blueberries in the “Ocean Spray” label.