(Watsonville, CA – October 11, 2018) Innovation comes in many forms at California Giant. While most of the attention is on partnerships focused on breeding, mechanical harvesting, and sustainability, a unique partnership is on the horizon as California Giant plans to debut a ‘scary and playful’ Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing collaboration at this year’s PMA Fresh Summit in Orlando, Florida October 19-20. The two companies have created a unique blend of organic strawberries and hops resulting in a custom strawberry infused beer to serve at their booth #2159, aligning strategically with their seasonal Scary Berry promotion launching October 10th.
“We have always enjoyed forming partnerships to be creative while extending our brand reach and visibility,” says Cindy Jewell, Vice President of Marketing for California Giant Berry Farms. “This partnership is more local, but definitely fun and a great way to think beyond produce and typical recipes for berries. We also know that serving unique items at conventions is a challenge. We think because of this partnership, booth #2159 will be busy and so will the tap room at Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery!”
Innovation and partnerships don’t stop there – California Giant is already planning its Second Annual Chef Invitational that launched this July, uniting foodservice partners and their talented chefs for the first time ever in a new industry competition to strengthen foodservice relationships, develop creative, innovative recipe content, promote their new foodservice program and the utilization of all four berry types, while uniting local sponsors during this 3-day culinary event.
“Foodservice is a key factor in our strategic growth plan. The California Giant label on all four berries year-round and expanded logistics and service capabilities will continue to solidify our place as a premium berry supplier to the foodservice industry,” says Tom Smith, Director of Foodservice for California Giant Berry Farms. “We will continue to innovate and elevate the berry category with chefs, restaurants, influencers, bloggers and our foodservice distribution partners. We are excited that our Second Annual Chef Invitational will be announced in the coming months and we look forward to further collaboration with our foodservice partners and their wonderful chefs!”
The company continues to utilize previous chef participants to gather timely recipe content, trends, and collaborate on future initiatives to continue to strengthen these direct relationships with leading industry chefs. In addition, they launched their foodservice web site this year to share Chef Invitational news, foodservice data and soon - a section titled “Tom Talks” dedicated to California Giant Foodservice Director, Tom Smith, to talk all things restaurant trends, foodservice insights, and his very own foodie-findings.
Now offering all four berry types on a year-round basis by strategically growing in a variety of regions and climates to consistently produce berries, the company has leveraged itself as having every berry for everybody – encompassing its new mantra “Everybody’s Berry”. Their 2018 marketing efforts have focused on generating lifestyle, people-centric content that showcases everyday people and various, everyday moments that California Giant berries live in – from snack time at school, to the skate park, to Sunday morning breakfast.
Speaking of school – the berry company recently wrapped up summer with their Fresh Start promotion, targeting moms of children headed to college and new college-age students to continue to tap into this ‘untapped’ demographic – the results were surprising – and impressive.
“This is the next generation of shoppers and with discretionary income we have already captured their attention and a portion of their shopping basket. The late summer promotion generated over 185,000 entries in our sweepstakes and over 20,000 new contacts in our database full of shoppers looking for fresh and healthy solutions as they enter college,” says Jewell.
The berry company looks forward to discussing their 2018 trade and promotional successes and what’s in store for 2019 at PMA Fresh Summit in Orlando, Florida next week – you can find the California Giant team on the show floor at booth #2159.