Berry Handling

California Giant berries are key contributors to your produce department sales and we are here to help maximize your profits and fulfill year-round consumer demand. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are as fragile as they are popular. Following are guidelines for proper receiving and handling of California Giant berries in your operation:

  • All of our berries destined for retail distribution from a central shipping warehouse must be kept cold until loads are ready to depart and placed onto the truck for final shipment to each store.
  • Berries on pallets that have been bagged and treated with carbon dioxide will warm during transport as a result of their own respiration. It is crucial that you remove bags immediately upon arrival. Improper handling of bagged pallets can result in off flavor.
  • Unload all berries immediately into a cold room. Never allow a shipment to sit outside of a cold atmosphere when not on display. Optimum temperature is near 32°F degrees (breakdown begins at 36°F degrees) with high humidity (90-95%). Un-refrigerated storage reduces shelf life and creates shrink.
  • Berries must never come in contact with moisture, misters, etc. Moisture will cause rapid breakdown of the berry (Ethylene gas does not affect them).
  • Check for maturity, ripeness level, quantity, packaging, size, count, weight, and grade. Report any discrepancies immediately.
  • Always rework berries each morning from the previous day's display.
  • Anticipate demand and prepare berries ahead of time to keep displays well stocked.
  • Spot check display throughout the day.
  • Be prepared for peak shopping hours, between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Offer multiple pack sizes and display all berry varieties together.
  • Restocks don't always keep pace with sales. Research shows display stocks decline during the afternoon peak shopping hours when clerks don't keep pace with sales.
  • Under stocks in the afternoon and evening can cost a whole day's sales over the course of a week.