So this article is a few weeks old (thanks Mary Brown!) but still right on the money. Wal-mart is taking the lead in healthy foods. As cranberry growers, we know that we grow a healthy fruit. Yes, it is a bit on the tart side, and yes it needs sweetening for all but the most stalwart. Pick your sweetener, as they are all available. We need to stop apologizing for the added sugar! Sweeteners makes cranberry palatable and cranberries are GOOD FOR YOU. They are available in every combination. Our goal at United Cranberry is to identify those products with high cranberry content…and we are working towards our seal of approval. With the help of companies like Wal-mart, consumers are going to have all the information they need to make the right choice.
http://cspinet.org/new/201202011.html This is an article about juice makers and how they put tiny amounts of something in a bottle and make health claims. As cranberry growers, I think we would agree that our favorite, healthy berry should be front and center in many, many drinks. MOST people can’t eat/drink cranberries “straight up” so to speak and need a little sweetener. I say, choose your sweetener. We all know that the bottlers use every type of sweetener out there…cane sugar, beet sugar, agave, apple juice, pear juice, Splenda, Truvia….just read the labels, people. It is mostly on the label. The only thing missing is how much cranberry is in the bottle!
The juice company experts have told me that they make juices that people like (they test the heck out of them) AND are affordable. They also tell me that people SAY they want one thing (more nutrition) but make their purchases according to taste and price. I think they are missing a whole bunch of people that want the juice companies to tell them straight up, what is in the bottle, how much of it and spell it out. How about reallygoodjuice branded juice with all the particulars on the bottle? What do you think?
Today and tomorrow is the Wisconsin winter Cranberry School…a big trade show of equipment, pumps, banking, etc, etc for the cranberry industry and information on growing practices. It draws tons of growers and handlers from around the state and even a grower or two from out of the area and at least one from Quebec. Bonjour!
The interesting thing to me was the change in attitude from a year ago. This time last year, we were expecting a base price of $10-$15 and we were awash with cranberries. The oversupply looked never ending. This year, we are expecting a base of about $25-$28 and handlers are looking for fruit. The topic on everyone’s mind is if there is a shortage, why isn’t the price higher? That will play out through the year, but if, indeed freezers are empty by late summer, things will get interesting. The CMC numbers are not due until January 20th, so we won’t hear the official usage numbers until after that, but I heard that the usage numbers have increased 7% for one large handler. If those numbers continue, the market is absorbing more of our wonderful, healthy fruit, and that is good.
All in all, it was a good meeting and will continue tomorrow. Thanks to all the United Cranberry members that came to our meeting and brought good ideas. We have things to work on and look forward to good things in 2012.
I just have to repost this post, because I am reminded that our WI freezers were virtually empty of fruit prior to harvest. And everyone heard of offers for whole fruit in the $50-$55/barrel range, if there was any around, at harvest. So it makes the whole question of planting even more interesting….so here is the old post:
In talking with various people, it occurs to me that in about 2-3 years the handlers are going to put out the “plant!” word. If we as an industry grow about 10,000,000 barrels, and the industry usage grows at 3-4%, we will increase usage 300,000-400,000 barrels each of the next two years. That 600-800,000 barrels will use up all that new acreage that is coming online and voila! we are inbalance, or have a shortage. The word will be put out to plant, and what are we as independents going to do about that? We will be coming off some terrible years….and our cash reserves will be low. OS growers on the other hand will have lots of cash. Is OS going to let their A pool in first with new acreage? Are they going to move B acres to A acres? Are they going to move acres off the waiting list? Seems to me, that the amount of independent fruit is going to go down. Is OS going to supply the independent handlers or will we?
Things to think about!!
Ok, so I’m checking out the Walmart light cocktail, and what do I see when I compare it my favorite Cranberry cocktail? OS has upped the % of juice to a total of 50%. but added apple and grape juice to the blend for a total of 50%. the OS light product used to be 27%juice, all cranberry. So if I want my cranberry, and I do, but I don’t want all the calories, what do I do? I’ll be buying the Walmart brand. This is the way I figure out the labels….since there are three juices and cranberry is the most, the amount of cranberry is somewhere between 16.5% and 49%. Don’t know, cant tell. Wish they would tell me.
Let’s hope this analyst is wrong!