10 September 2008

From Pig Farms to the Snacks Aisle

From the Boston Globe's recent interview with Randy C. Papadellis, chief executive of Ocean Spray:

What exactly are craisins?

Ten years ago, craisins were basically what we were giving away to pig farmers as feed. Now they've become the fastest growing and most profitable part of the business. Craisins are the cranberry hull--after we've extracted all the juices. We reinfuse a little juice back in, combine it with a little bit of natural sugar cane, and call it sweet and dried cranberries, or a craisin.

How did it become such a big business?

For most of its existence, it was a baking ingredient sold along chocolate morsels in the baking aisle. A couple of years ago we made the marketing decision to reposition it as a healthy snack, kind of what raisins have been doing it for years. So we moved it from the baking aisle to dried fruit aisle and the produce section. Over the last few years, we've gone from producing 20 million pounds of sweet and dried cranberries to 115 millions pounds by the end of September.
When I was a kid, we didn't have craisins. I occasionally ate a small bowl of raw cranberries with white sugar sprinkled on top. And liked it.

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