Are Blueberries, Blackberries and Strawberries Really Berries

Blueberries, Blackberries, and Strawberries are beloved fruits, and have been consumed by people around the world for tens of thousands of years! But did you know they’re not all true berries?

A berry is a fruit produced from the ovary of a single flower, where the outer layer grows into an edible fleshy portion. Surprisingly, this includes a wide range of fruits, such as bananas, avocados, grapes, and even watermelon! In addition, a berry must have two or more seeds, which is why cherries don’t count. But what about the fruits with ‘berry’ in their name? Where do they stand?

Strawberries and blackberries are not berries, botanically speaking, as their flowers have more than one ovary. Blackberries and strawberries are comprised of many tiny fruits – each blackberry is made of dozens of little fruits, while each strawberry is made up of hundreds! Blueberries, however, are true berries, as is their cousin, cranberries.

The term ‘berry’ came around long before scientists ever agreed on what a berry “really” is. Nature is also VERY creative and will reproduce a fruit without asking a botanist first. But at the end of the day, it’s only a name, and a strawberry by any other name would taste just as sweet!

We have lots of berries (and not berries) just in time for Valentine’s Day. Make sure to ask your Account Manager to add some to your order.


Merchandising Corner

Valentine’s Day Merchandising

Flowers are a must for Valentine’s Day, but don’t forget about berries, citrus, and some good cross-merchandising opportunities. Read on for our tips to make this a successful holiday.

  • Berries: Berries are a huge hit for Valentine’s Day. Provide your shoppers with a plentiful selection and multiple displays of berries located throughout the department. Packaged berries are a great impulse buy; have berries merchandised at registers and checkout areas to maximize sales. They will fly!
  • Cross Merchandise: Champagne and sparkling beverages, strawberries, and citrus (think mimosa) keep displays interesting – Kishus, tangerines and oranges will add a rich level of color. Collaborate with other departments in your store: whipped cream and cheese in refrigerated berry displays spark some delicious inspiration.
  • Flower Variety: Fresh, local flowers, now including new-crop spring Tulips, are the gift everyone needs for a loved one (including themselves) to say “I love you.” Offer varying sizes of bouquets to fit a wide range of budgets. Display flowers in a prominent high-traffic area, close to check-out counters and/or the produce department.
  • Care for Your Flowers: Keep flowers fresh by storing backstock in a cooler overnight; pull refrigerated product off the floor at the end of the day to store properly. Cull through flowers daily, pulling wilted and broken flowers from bouquets.
  • Pink and Red: Feature all fruits & fun vegetables that are pink, red or purple fleshed: Strawberry, Raspberry, Moro Blood Orange, Cara Cara Navel, Purple Stokes sweet potato, Rio Red grapefruit, Raddichio, Red D’anjou pear, Pink Varigated lemon, Pink Lady apple, Purple Graffiti cauliflower, mini-seedless watermelon, Pink Oyster mushroom. And heart-shaped fruit, like Strawberries or Cherimoya.


Produce Resources

Exclusive Growers

Check out our list of Exclusive Growers and talk to your Account Manager about what’s in season from these small, family farms.

Citrus Shelf Talkers

Use these 3″ x 5″ ready-to-print Shelf Talkers to inform your customers and staff about some of the most popular citrus we have in stock!

Citrus Variety Guide

Take a look at our Citrus Guide for flavor notes on all your favorite citrus!

Citrus Variety Chart

Download and print this 1-page Citrus Variety Chart for quick reference throughout the citrus season.


New & Exciting

Ataulfo Mango: Just in! The Ataulfo (AKA Honey mango) is a small vibrant yellow mango, known for its delicate honey sweet flavor. With a buttery creamy texture, they are less fibrous than most mangoes. The pit is thin, which means more soft, juicy flesh!

Clementine: A cross between a mandarin and Sweet Orange, the Clementine has less acid than an orange and offers a rich sweetness. Seedless and easy to peel.

* Kishu (right): Kishu Tangerines are petite in size (but not in flavor), seedless, easy to peel, and beloved for their sweetness. Our Kishus are from the Tangerine Man himself, Jim Churchill. Click here to learn more about how the Kishu was popularized by Churchill Orchards.

Red Seedless Grape: Passion Fire red seedless grapes will be coming in from Peru by the second week of February. Large, crisp, round berries with sweet flavor. Excellent shelf life.

Meiwa Kumquat: Making a brief but splendid appearance this February, get them while you can! Known as the Sweet Kumquat, the Meiwa can be eaten in its entirety. Both the flesh and skin are sweet, creating a delightful and aromatic experience with every bite.

* Radicchio (left): The Rosa (pink) and Treviso (red) varieties both have a great color and present a unique opportunity to play with the theme of Valentine’s Day. Radicchio’s pleasant bitterness complements many flavors in salads or savory dishes, such as pizza. When cooked, grilled, or broiled the flavors magically mellow and sweeten.

Top Tip: Soak Radicchio in water for 15 minutes to reduce bitterness if used for a fresh preparation.

Seville ‘Marmalade’ Orange: Highly aromatic, sour/bitter orange flavor and also the perfect marmalade orange. This variety naturally contains a lot of pectin in the fruit, which acts as a gelling agent for a firm spread.
Fun Fact: Bitter oranges were cultivated in Seville, Spain in the 12th century, by innovative Arab agriculturalists, becoming known as the Seville orange.

Valencia Orange: California-grown fruit from B&J Ranch, an exclusive grower. Don’t sleep on this opportunity to get domestic Valencias this time of year.

Zhuluan Sour Orange: Sour orange variety with a unique orangey sour-lemon flavor. It is seedy with tender flesh. Zhuluans are great to use in savory preserves and make the perfect marmalade.



Avocado - Hass* Avocado (right): Great deals on Hass Avocado, just in time for the Super Bowl! Bacon Avocados are competitively priced, and renowned for their subtle flavor and smooth, green skin.

Broccoli: Steady supply of this staple vegetable. Ask your account manager about volume deals!

Brussels Sprout: Prices are coming down; supply is strong and readily available.

Cherimoya: Also known as Custard Apple thanks to its soft, creamy texture, this sweet tropical fruit has a complex flavor like a banana and a pineapple. Eat raw when soft to the touch, like an avocado; the skin and seeds are not edible.

* Kent Mango (left): Excellent supply out of Peru. Sweet, succulent flavor with near fiberless flesh. Kent mangoes remain mostly green with some blush on the outside, but often develop yellow undertones on the skin when ripe.

Pink Lady Apple: Hot deals on 88 count apples. Juicy, sweet, and crisp!

Rio Red Grapefruit: Extra sweet pricing on this VV exclusive from B&J Ranch. The fruit is sweet, mildly tart, and super juicy. Seedless with deep red flesh.

Romaine Heart: Romaine and Romaine hearts are in good supply. Volume deals available!

Sweet Pepper Medley: These peppers are promotable, and available in 1-pound bags, which makes for a great impulse purchase. They can also be stuffed with cream cheese for a colorful and tasty Super Bowl snack!



Asparagus: The cold temps have affected supply, slowing growth of the slender plants.


Egg: A number of factors have affected egg production, including higher feed prices, cold weather, Avian flu, and logistics.

Green bean: Extremely limited

Strawberry: Mexican growers are rebounding slowly from the recent cold weather, but supply is expected to improve soon.

Tomato: Beef Steak Tomato and Tomato on the Vine (TOV) have been affected by cold weather in Mexico. Stock is limited, with price going up.



Food Movers & Shakers

We want to celebrate the individuals and organizations that have changed the trajectory of our collective future! Their hard work and contributions to food justice, organic farming, transportation, culinary arts and sustainable agriculture are why our food system is changing, and more clearly in focus today.

Each week we’ll post a snapshot of these inspiring people and organizations–stay tuned!

EARTHseed Farm

Image courtesy EARTHseed Farm

EARTHseed Farm is a 14-acre solar-powered organic farm, orchard and educational center located in northern California. Founded in 2021 by Pandora Thomas, the main land steward of the farm, EARTHseed is the first Afro-Indigenous, Black-owned permaculture farm in Sonoma County. The farm is operated and rooted in Afro-Indigenous permaculture principles. The team of year-round and seasonal stewards helping carry out the mission and vision of the farm are predominantly Black and Latinx, alongside other people of color.

EARTHseed offers opportunities to learn how to honor wild tended areas, practical instruction in regenerative agricultural techniques, and modeling resilience practices. The farm grows a wide variety of fruit including Apples, Asian Pear, Persimmon, Pluot, and Pineapple Guava.

The farm is approaching its third season this summer—we can’t wait to see what is in store!

Learn more about this unique and influential farm:


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