Ocean Spray predicts a strong 2013 cranberry crop

Photo taken from Ocean Spray’s website.
Photo taken from Ocean Spray’s website.

Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc., the grower-owned cooperative headquartered in Lakeville and Middleborough, issued its latest 2013 crop projections just as the cranberry harvesting season gets underway.

Ocean Spray said it believes the industry crop will range between 11.1 and 11.5 million barrels, coming in close to the 2012 industry crop of 11.2 million barrels. That 2012 crop was a record, an Ocean Spray spokeswoman said. The typical cranberry season runs from mid-September through mid-November.

Historically, about 80 percent of a season’s crop is consumed in North America. And about 20 percent of the crop is consumed during Thanksgiving week.

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The ongoing challenge for Ocean Spray is to persuade North Americans to view the cranberry as more of a year-round fruit while convincing consumers in other parts of the world that they should give cranberries a try. Part of the marketing message is that not only are cranberries delicious, but they are also healthful.

As part of its missionary work, Ocean Spray said it is planning to hold sampling events and cooking demonstrations in Russia and China. The events suggest that dried cranberries can be incorporated in “everyday local recipes.”

“As a cooperative, our mission is to market the fruit of our grower-owners. To do that, Ocean Spray is focused on increasing demand for our great-tasting, good-for-you cranberry products through bold market expansion, development of new distribution channels, and product innovation,” Ocean Spray president and chief executive Randy Papadellis said in a statement.

In fiscal year 2012, Ocean Spray posted record-high gross sales of $2.2 billion and net proceeds of $338 million. Net proceeds is the term a cooperative uses for net income.