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2020 Wisconsin crop update

17 Nov

The 2020 cranberry crop turned out to be great in color and quality and not so great in volume. In 2019 WI delivered 4,485,000 bbls. That was down from 5,271,000 bbls in 2018. I think all growers thought preharvest that we had an average crop coming in, and in fact the CMC themselves estimated 5,500,000 and NASS estimated 5,600,000? Something like that. So, what did we deliver? The official numbers don’t get reported until after 12/31 and officially reported out until the first of February or so, but it looks like WI delivered a 2020 crop of 4,700,000 bbls, significantly down from expectations.

The Wisconsin crop is down considerably from the record 6,000,000 bbls in 2016 and inventories have been reduced due to a marketing order on the 2017 and 2018 crops.

I’m hearing that in the rest of the US, the crops are not stellar, nor is the crop in Canada. So we will see a worldwide crop similar to last years…which was a short crop.

The only pesky problem is the concentrate inventory which should be taken care of by the wonderful Tik Tok video of that guy (and everyone else) chugging CranRasperry.! Love. It.

Nice article about Spray’s overseas business

2 Oct

Here is a nice article about Ocean Spray’s international business. I didn’t know Pepsi is co packing for them in South can find it here Of course we all know about the Chile operation which is also in the article.

New cranberry cocktail formulation on the shelves

24 Sep

I must have missed the press release about Ocean Spray reformulating their flagship Cranberry Juice Cocktail! I found both of these on the shelf at my local grocery store this morning. One is a gallon size and the other 32oz. But still, the labels clearly show that the new cocktail from OS needs to have it’s color enhanced with vegetable juice. I was always understanding that cranberries were plently red and we never needed any artificial colorants. Well, vegetables aren’t artificial, by any means, but gee whiz, cranberries are still red, aren’t they? Oh, and the BIG NEWS is that they dropped the calorie count down 10 calories per serving.

New bottle:


Old bottle:



Madmen and Ocean Spray

11 Jun

I’m a big fan of the 1960’s series Madmen on AMC. If you haven’t seen it, it is all about the advertising guys on Madison Avenue in New York. The episode I watched last night had Ocean Spray in the story line! It was for advertising their juice. I don’t know if this is product placement or what, but pretty cool.

Ocean Spray to acquire Cran Chile

9 Jan
Ocean Spray Acquires Cran Chile Cranberry Processing Business An announcement from Randy Papadellis, President and CEO
Today I am sharing the exciting news that Ocean Spray has acquired a strategically-located cranberry processing business from Cran Chile, located in Lanco, Región de los Ríos, Chile. This acquisition will help Ocean Spray accelerate global demand for dried cranberries and enable us to better compete in the global dried fruit market. Marking our first international acquisition, the new operations will also expand Ocean Spray’s global footprint and establish a Cooperative presence in an important cranberry growing region.  Cran Chile will retain its growing operations and has accepted our invitation become a member of the cooperative.
As you know, Ocean Spray has laid out a set of strategic business imperatives that will help the company achieve its 10-year growth plans and maximize the proceeds paid out to you over time. Aggressively growing SDCs on a global basis and building scale through acquisitions are two key levers in delivering the plan and securing the company’s future. This acquisition is one of the opportunities in Ocean Spray’s Long Range Plan that will help achieve the grower return targets and other objectives in the Plan. I am confident that this transaction will provide long-term benefits for all of you.
The acquisition of the Cran Chile business puts us in the heart of an important cranberry region outside of North America. It will advance the Cooperative’s ability to operate globally and be more competitive in the global marketplace by:
  • Improving our ability to produce and efficiently distribute dried cranberries from a strategic South American location to new and existing international markets.
  • Increasing Ocean Spray’s capacity to produce dried cranberries by approximately 6 percent, or 12 million pounds annually.
  • Providing a valuable source of counter-seasonal cranberries.
Ocean Spray intends to make additional capital investments to the processing facility to increase efficiency, improve yield, and add freezer capacity. We will also work to transition Cran Chile’s customers to Ocean Spray.  All of the approximately 100 Cran Chile plant employees will become Ocean Spray employees. As part of this transaction, all of Cran Chile’s approximately 1,450 acres of producing acreage will be joining Ocean Spray’s A and B Pools.
This acquisition is an exciting milestone for our Cooperative as we strive to build a multinational Cooperative presence, and it will be a catalyst for additional evolution of our culture, business processes, and diversity.
My THIS is certainly big news!  Congrats to Gordon Swanson, owner of Cran Chile! 

Cranberry wars update

26 Nov

Some of the lawyers representing the Independent growers suing Ocean Spray have a website up that you can see here:!

Costco/OceanSpray juice

14 Jun



Now this is some good looking juice! I understand that this is 35% Cranberry, so i am happy! I love high content cranberry products.

Ocean Spray concentrate auction flat

25 Apr

So the Ocean Spray concentrate auction was today and the results were flat, the average price per gallon only up $.10.  I don’t know how many buyers participated in the auction, but clearly the buyers participating don’t feel the need to bid up the price, so they must like the supply out there.  Hmm.  Wonder how that will hold up in August.  The next auction is in July.

News from around the cranberry growing world.

11 Apr

All everyone can talk about is the weather here in Wisconsin.  Early, early spring, now really cold nights.  Many, if not most growers have the beds under water, changing water, talking about water, running sprinklers.  And it is April 11th! Yikes.  Big crop? small crop? Drowned crop?  Who knows. 

The other big topics of discussion are the Cott letter and the OS B pool.  I’ve got a couple of thoughts on both:

The Cott letter to its growers was mailed out on April 3 and amongst other things lists a floor price for the upcoming 2012 crop at $30/barrel.  Wow.  That is definitely up from 2011 from $25, but I thought it would be higher.  The letter also, reserves the right to lower the price if the US crop surpasses 8,000,000 barrels (last year it was about 7,500,000 barrels) and, on the other hand, Cott also claims that the price could go up if market conditions improve.  Over all the letter talks about wanting to support the grower and get them to profitability, and on that note, they are establishing a Pollination Support program where they will support 1 hive per acre.  (Details to follow, they said)   My take on the whole letter is, they say they want to pay us more, but gee whiz, if they can’t, they won’t. 


The whole Ocean Spray B pool letter is interesting too. OS established new rules for the B pool waiting list.  This is after moving 850 OS member acres off the waiting list and into the B pool for the 2012 crop and another 283 to be planted acres as well.  So, they moved their members first.  If I was an owner of the co-op (a member) I would certainly support that.  They can do what they want, it is their co-op!   I wonder if that means that (850 acres x 200 bbls acre) 170,000 barrels or so that just moved off the wait list came from the independent handlers?  I mean, was that fruit sold to independents last year?  Or maybe it is just coming online this year, but it is fruit that won’t be independently handled, even though it will find its way into the independent market, or ingredients market by way of OS’s auction and ingredients division.  So, these B pool growers are giving OS their fruit, which will be auctioned and keep the price down…but hey, they might get into the A pool some day.  The price you pay for getting into the A pool.  

As always, I wonder what all of this means for the independent grower.  Handlers are not going to pay us more than they have to.  Just like we growers don’t pay the fertilized guy more than WE have to.  If we can get the stuff cheaper, we will.  So, I can’t blame them.  As far as Ocean Spray?  They are doing what they have to do to get their owners the best return they can, can’t blame them for that. Not their job to take care of the rest of us.  Oh, but their auction is messing with our prices and we are going to have to figure something out there.  If they can always keep the B pool full with fruit to auction, then they will.  Simple as that.  I don’t see them auctioning their A pool fruit. 

The United cranberry board has been discussing all of this and more since our inception.  Our members have told us that they don’t feel they have options.  They don’t want to pay $350 an acre to wait on the B pool for Ocean Spray with the hopes of someday getting into the A pool, and they feel that the independent handlers don’t care if they even break even.  So, back in January 2012, we asked our members if they had un contracted fruit for sale with this 2012 crop.  The response was overwhelming!  Many growers  anticipate many barrels of fruit to be made available to United Cranberry.  So, there you have it!  United Cranberry is becoming a handler!  We’ve put in an order for bins, and are drawing up a marketing agreement.   There may still be room for more fruit this fall, so call if you are interested.  This first year will be crazy busy but we are committed to making it work and getting the highest return we can for our growers.  




concentrate auction and independent growers

5 Apr

Did it ever occur to you that if growers didn’t join the Ocean Spray B pool and /or didn’t sell  them independent fruit, that OS wouldn’t have any fruit/concentrate for the auction?  You don’t see them selling their A pool fruit for that low a price!   Something to think about as everyone on the B pool waiting list just got their notification of the new rules for the waiting list, which include a $350/acre fee.  As United Cranberry is taking the steps to become a handler, maybe growers should consider all their options. Call us!