Driscoll’s, a global producer of fresh berries, is bringing back its popular Rose Berries, along with a new high-flavor strawberry innovation, Tropical Bliss. The new flavor will join Rose Berries and Sweetest Batch, making Driscoll’s the first fresh berry company to offer three different high-flavor strawberries mapped to a proprietary sensory wheel.
“With more than 70 years of strawberry breeding expertise, Driscoll’s has one of the largest R&D Centers dedicated to proprietary varieties,” said Philip Stewart, Driscoll’s global strawberry breeding director, in a press release. “Creating Only The Finest berries is core to our innovation strategy, and we look forward to continuing to provide our consumers with quality, high-flavor berries.”
Driscoll’s curated collection of strawberries was developed through traditional breeding methods and without genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Each proprietary flavor took 20 years to perfect and commercialize but “promises to bring even more joy to the experience of biting into a berry,” according to the company.
Rose Berries, Sweetest Batch and the new Tropical Bliss strawberries were developed to deliver a premium produce experience that surprises and delights consumers with each bite. Due to the seasonality of all three of these premium strawberries, supplies are limited and only available in the spring and summer.
Rose Berries and Sweetest Batch were first introduced in 2019, immediately gaining popularity among berry lovers. The pink fruits were only sold in limited quantities at certain locations in Northern California and New York City. Since then, the company has expanded the Rose Berries availability and its website lists several large grocery chains that carry the berries.
Rose Berries, bred for their unique color and aromatic flavor, feature peachy, bright flavor notes akin to consumers’ favorite summer wine. With Sweetest Batch, Driscoll’s was the first produce company to market a complete berry patch premium flavor offering across strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.
The new Tropical Bliss strawberries combine the classic flavor of sweet berries and light flavor notes of tropical punch, pineapple and passionfruit. This premium line of berries, along with Rose Berries and Sweetest Batch, command a premium price — approximately double the price of Driscoll’s conventional line — since they are harder to grow and come with a significant investment from Driscoll’s.
Driscoll’s innovation goes beyond just strawberry flavors. It is partnering with Plenty Unlimited Inc. to build a new indoor vertical strawberry farm that aims to accelerate the growth of Driscoll’s top crop by using Plenty’s growing platform.
As part of the partnership, Driscoll’s strawberries were initially grown in Plenty’s Laramie, Wyoming farm, the largest indoor plant science research facility of its kind. Plenty uses Driscoll’s proprietary genetics along with its own technology and plant science knowledge to grow the berries. They utilize analytics, machine learning and customized lighting to deliver yields 150 to 350 times greater per acre than a standard berry field.
The two companies will be a part of the budding vertical farming market, which is expected to witness a potential growth difference of $6.7 billion from 2021 to 2026 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.93 percent.