Oppy has introduced Haskap berries to customers in the greater Vancouver area — the first time the variety has been available at retail.
With a sweet, tangy taste, Haskap berries have a flavor profile that combines elements of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, according to Oppy. Haskap berries are also especially well suited as a snack for children, thanks to their size and flavor, which offers a tangy finish reminiscent of candy.
By trialing the berries with select retailers in a limited locale not far from where the berries are grown, Oppy tested how well the fruit held up in the commercial supply chain, its longevity, and used the trial as an opportunity to increase consumer awareness of the Haskaps, which also recently appeared in Edible Vancouver magazine. The berries’ taste profile and other attributes were conveyed on header cards enclosed in every case of the fruit.
“Haskap berries offer consumers a welcome reprieve from the usual produce items that they’ve grown accustomed to, and in the current circumstances a little bit of novelty can be welcome,” says Garland Perking, senior manager of insights and innovation at Oppy. “Oppy is continually looking for new, under-the-radar varieties that bring a lot to the table for consumers and retailers. Thanks to its versatility as a healthy snack and its ease of use from a culinary perspective, Haskap berries have plenty of untapped potential that can be realized with the right promotions and partnerships.”
After conducting this trial successfully, Oppy will aim to work with its partners to expand and scale the program to meet increased interest and demand, providing differentiation in the booming berry category. Modern varieties of the berry were developed by the University of Saskatchewan in 2000, but the super-berry was originally cultivated in Japan for over 200 years. Thanks to its high level of antioxidants and anthocyanins, Haskaps offer a plethora of health benefits including anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and cardioprotective properties.