Oceanside Pole expands acreage, grows product line
On the heels of a winning 2016 tomato season characterized by outstanding weather, high quality, and speedy sales rates powered by numerous successful ‘California grown’ promotions with local retailers, the Singh family of Oceanside, Calif., and exclusive marketer Oppy enter the fifth year of partnership with their eyes set on even greater horizons.
Not only will they refresh product branding and add significant new tomato acreage, the partnership introduces a whole new offering: Brussels sprouts grown to the same exacting standards as the Singh’s celebrated Oceanside Pole tomatoes.
“Brussels sprouts complement tomato production quite well,” said Priya Singh, general manager at Oceanside Pole. “They enhance soil health and are counter-seasonal, which enables us to extend our operation virtually year round. We’re also capitalizing on the suitability of our climate to feed into a popular culinary trend.”
According to USDA ERS, per capita consumption of Brussels sprouts has jumped by 13 percent year-on-year since 2011. Within that same time period, imported Brussels sprout volume has quadrupled. Brussels sprouts grown in Oceanside will give retailers a domestically produced alternative to simultaneously available imported Brussels sprouts March through May.
The sprouts will be available in 25-lb bulk boxes, shipping from Yuma, Ariz. March through mid-April, and Salinas, Calif. mid-April through May.
“We expect the program to appeal particularly to area retailers as a refreshing new component to their ‘California Grown’ programs,” said Mark Smith, senior sales manager at Oppy. “It’s an excellent warm-up to the Oceanside vine-ripe and roma tomato program which begins in July.”
Smith notes that the tomato harvest will grow by about 500,000 cases of rounds and romas combined in 2017, due to the addition of about 100 new acres of production. The Singhs will once again plant their signature Sweet-10 seed, while propagating some new varieties that have exceeded expectations during trials according to Smith.
In support of the growth of the Oceanside program, look for a renewed branding approach in 2017.
“The Singh family has been farming in Oceanside for over 75 years,” said Smith. “Their attention to detail is second to none. They’re the exceptional growers they are because they walk the fields every day, monitoring water and fertilizer, pruning and staking the plants, and so much more. They are absolutely on top of every detail. “
Oppy Vice President of Marketing James Milne believes the new brand will help elevate Oceanside Pole to a contemporary realm that resonates with consumers by blending the story of growing excellence with the spirit of the Southern California region.
“The new brand will endeavor to playfully capture what it means to have grown so long and so well in coastal Oceanside, while conveying the results of this labor of love: beautiful, richly flavored produce that honors every table where it is served,” he summed up.