Rooting thousands of strawberry plants on elevated tables the first week of October, Oppy, under the Ocean Spray license, will launch its first-ever specialty berry pack in the Happy Berry label mid-December per a press release. The hydroponic tabletop strawberry concept was developed by New Wave Berry, LLC, a joint venture formed by grower, marketer and distributor Oppy, agricultural investment firm Farmers Gate and family-owned agribusiness Red Dog Management, who is growing the crop in Santa Maria, California.
The high tunnel facility grows protected strawberries on tables raised to chest height, “making labor more ergonomically friendly for those planting, tending and harvesting the berries.”.
“Berry consumption continues to outpace the growth of other fruit items,” said Oppy vice-president of categories and strategy Jason Fung. “While we’re very encouraged to see this, macro level trends facing the industry like land availability, labor, water, sustainability and beyond continue to raise challenges.”
The 12-oz clamshell features hydroponic call-outs, a QR code to educate consumers and more.
“Even with all the benefits of hydroponic strawberries, it can be difficult to introduce something new that consumers aren’t typically familiar with,” said Fung. “Trust goes a long way to motivate a purchase decision, which is why the licensing of Ocean Spray’s logo helps encourage consumers to pick up a new item.”