LAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., a Grower-Owned Cooperative, today announced that its 40th grapefruit harvest is underway in the Indian River region of Florida. Grapefruit Grower-Owners will deliver this season’s red and white varieties over the next six months when the fruit ripens and meets Ocean Spray’s strict quality standards. The Cooperative anticipates receiving deliveries of approximately 1.5 million boxes of grapefruit.
“Ocean Spray is proud to be a part of the Florida grapefruit harvest,” shared Dan Crocker, Vice President of Cooperative Development. “Our citrus Grower-Owners are a very important part of our cooperative family and we’re excited to celebrate their hard work as well as the brand’s four decades of leadership and innovation in the grapefruit juice category.”
One of those innovations, Ruby Cranberry Juice Drink, launched this September. “This is truly the ultimate Ocean Spray® beverage,” said Beth Turenne, Manager of Global Citrus Marketing. “Consumers will be now able to enjoy the crisp, clean taste of cranberries blended with sweet, invigorating grapefruit in our newest beverage, Ruby Cranberry Juice Drink.”
The Cooperative expanded membership to include citrus growers from the Indian River Region of Florida in 1976, at the height of the “Grapefruit Diet” craze. Over the past 40 years, Ocean Spray has launched a number of successful citrus products throughout the world. Today, around 30 grapefruit Grower-Owners deliver their harvest to the Cooperative, many of whom are second and third generation farmers.
Unlike cranberries, grapefruit aren’t native to North America. They were brought to Florida from the West Indies in the 1820s. Florida made its first shipment of grapefruits to the ports of New York and Philadelphia in 1885, launching the beginnings of the modern commercial grapefruit industry.
- Roughly 40 percent of the Florida grapefruit harvested each season is used for juice. The other 60 percent is sold as fresh grapefruit.
- One acre of a grove can produce some 400-700 boxes of grapefruit. 700 boxes of grapefruit weigh in at almost 60,000 pounds.
- In a productive year, a single grapefruit tree can generate 1,300 to 1,500 pounds of fruit.
- Grapefruit is believed to be a hybrid of the pomelo with the sweet orange.
Ocean Spray is a vibrant agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry and grapefruit growers in the United States, Canada and Chile who have helped preserve the family farming way of life for generations. Formed in 1930, Ocean Spray is now the world’s leading producer of cranberry juices, juice drinks and dried cranberries and is the best-selling brand in the North American bottled juice category. The cooperative’s cranberries are currently featured in more than a thousand great-tasting, good-for-you products in over 100 countries worldwide. With more than 2,200 employees and nearly 20 cranberry receiving and processing facilities, Ocean Spray is committed to managing our business in a way that respects our communities, employees and the environment. In fiscal year 2014, Ocean Spray posted gross sales of over $2 billion. For more information visit: www.oceanspray.com or www.oceanspray.coop.