Ocean Spray 'bogs' cranberries as healthy and wholesome
a creative marketing campaign to spread awareness of the healthy
aspects of cranberries.
Used in the popular sauce that accompanies the turkey of festive meals in North America, cranberries have been linked particularly to urinary tract health. But with the benefits of the berries being made known, the ingredients are being used in more food and beverage applications. Subsequently, in 2006, Ocean Spray posted fiscal sales of roughly $1.5b. While in the US, the berries hold no health claims, Ocean Spray has in large part carried the message through to consumers via awareness campaigns that do not form part of its direct product or juice ads. Accordingly, the health link appears to have been widely registered by the public, and demand for the berries has subsequently grown. The cranberry giant's latest initiative is the "bogs across America" tour it is bringing to New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles. The company says it will transform landmark sites in these cities into a sea of red berries. Each free-standing bog exhibit will contain about 2,000 pounds of cranberries brought in from Ocean Spray bogs across the country. "While most Americans are already fans of the traditional cranberry sauce, log or relish found on many Thanksgiving tables, few realize the year-round versatility and rich history of the cranberry-one of only three fruits native to North America," announced the producer. Ocean Spray, which claims to produce around two thirds of the cranberries on the US market, will underscore the feel-good qualities of cranberries - taste, health and heritage - via the campaign. To meet growing demand, the company announced in August it is investing $27m to expand its Wisconsin plant by a further 100,000 square feet. This is set to be completed in 2009, and will allow for an overall production capacity of over 30 million pounds of sweetened dry cranberries per year. Similarly, in 2006, the company announced increased demand had spurred it to initiate a $50m first phase extension to the same plant. According to Ocean Spray, demand for dried cranberries in particular is driving this growth. It says these are increasingly being used as ingredients in processed foods and beverages thanks to new research indicating dried cranberries offer identical anti-bacterial properties to cranberry juice. While consumers largely identify cranberry's healthy attribute as being its ability to help ward off urinary tract infections, the berries also contain anti-oxidants and are said to be good for heart health and to reduce ulcers and gum disease. Ocean Spray will set up its bogs at New York's Rockefeller Center, Chicago's Tribune Tower and Los Angeles' Hollywood & Highland Center.