Commodity: Organic Blackberries

Blackberries

Commodity Overview

Organic blackberry sales are soaring, as 12% of the category is organic in 2015. The small berry saw a 55% jump in sales from 2015 to 2016. Prices fell by more than $1 per pound as well. Organic blackberries carry a high price point, which makes them a valuable sale for your department. Put some effort into promoting and displaying organic blackberries, and it will pay off on the bottom line.

Varieties

This commodity is not typically marketed by variety.

Sales Strategies

Organic blackberries are a versatile food. They can be eaten raw or baked. They make a great addition to salads, baked goods, smoothies, applesauce and as a snack eaten out of hand. Use cross-promotions to encourage consumers to try out all the different uses for blackberries.

Promote organic blackberries heavily during peak season. Consider including blackberries in multiple-berry promotions throughout the spring and summer to encourage consumers to pick up more than one type of organic berry.

Organic blackberries can be a big part of spring and summer holiday meals, so promote them around Easter, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. Promote them as a tasty summertime snack as well as a great-tasting topping for ice cream.

Blackberries offer plenty of health benefits, so promote them to consumers looking for a healthy snack as well as looking for sustainably grown product. Make sure to target parents looking for a healthy snack for their kids.

Dynamic Displays

Consider displaying organic blackberries with other organic berries in a berry patch display. This gets consumers thinking about the berry category as a whole. Create a large display near the front of the store with organic strawberries as the eye-catcher. Include other berries like blackberries and blueberries in the display. Consumers looking for organic strawberries will load up their carts with other berries as well. The higher price point on the different organic berries will keep sticker shock to a minimum.

Organic blackberries spoil quickly. Check the display frequently to avoid turning consumers away with moldy berries.

Most organic blackberries are sold in clamshell containers. This keeps the berries protected and creates a neat-looking display. It also allows for the required organic labeling. Stock several sizes of blackberries in clamshells.

Peak season for organic blackberries is shorter than many fruits. Give blackberries extra space on your display and consider a secondary display near the bagged salads during peak season.

In The Backroom

Shipping

Organic blackberries are most often shipped in cartons of 12, 6-ounce or 12, 12-ounce clamshells.

Grades

U.S. No. 1
U.S. No. 2

Handling

Berries with caps attached may be immature.
Good-quality product will be bright, clean and fresh with good color and plumpness. Overripe berries are dull, soft and sometimes leaky – indicated by stained containers.
Temperature: 32 to 34 F, 0 to 1 C
Relative humidity: 90-95%
Mist: no
Typical shelf life: 2 to 3 days
Highly sensitive to freezing injury

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