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California Giant has increased acreage, new marketing activities in 2013

California Giant Berry Farms is entering peak berry season with increased acreage and new marketing initiatives.

Cal Giant has increased strawberry acreage by 12 percent, mainly in northern California districts with Albion still the dominant variety in that growing region. Santa Maria has a slight shift in strawberry varieties with the addition of the Monterey. Additionally, this region has variety berries gearing up for production in the spring and summer.

All California strawberry growing regions for Cal Giant have increased availability of organic strawberries with volume stretching from February to November. Additional strawberry-growing regions in Mexico and Florida complement the Watsonville, CA-based firm's year-round availability.

Cal Giant continues to expand its share of the fresh blueberry market with increases in acreage and volume from Chile in the winter and the Pacific Northwest and California during the summer.

The company also has an expanded year-round blackberry program with varieties and growing regions producing very positive results and feedback from customers.

Cal Giant is also kicking off 2013 with a new marketing mission to connect on a more personal level with consumers already buying their berries for their families, as well as reaching new consumers forming new brand loyalties.

With several years of consumer data now in hand due to QR codes and social media connections, the company is ready to take the next step in building daily personal connections.

"We are making a new investment in time and tools to learn more about who our followers are and why they are interested in us so we can better engage," Cindy Jewell, director of marketing at Cal Giant, said in a press release. "There are some great new tools available to us that help us better target and communicate with our consumers in a way that is more valuable to them and in turn converts them into California Giant brand champions."

The company will also work with key promotion partners throughout the year that provide increased usage of "California Giant" brand berries and serve as incentives to build brand loyalty with new consumers.  

Trade focus in 2013 will continue with an emphasis on proper cold-chain management critical to the profitability of fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. California Giant plans to keep the focus on training by offering free usage of its cold chain video as an essential tool for trade customers in educating store-level produce managers. The videos are available on YouTube, as well as by request on DVD or USB drive.