New varieties and new packaging continue to characterize the ever-evolving retail fresh grape category.

Two grape industry trends Oppy is tracking are the rising popularity of clamshells and higher consumption of green grapes, said Bill Poulos, the company’s executive director of grapes and stone fruit.

“Oppy remains at the forefront by adapting to these trends, ensuring a commitment to various consumer packs and varieties,” he said.

This spring, Oppy will be importing grapes from Peru, Brazil, Mexico and Chile, the company’s primary country of origin.

The Peruvian deal is finishing up a bit earlier than usual this year, with Mexico expected to start shipping in May.

This year will be comparable to last year, Poulos said, with Chile anticipating a crop with moderate volumes and a stronger focus on new varieties such as Allisons, Sweet Globes, Autumn Crisps, Timco and Scarlotta.

“All is trucking along well for an excellent season.”

Oppy is getting positive reviews on many of its newer varieties, with fan favorite cotton candy grapes leading the way, Poulos said.

Others notching good reviews include Autumn Crisp, Sweet Celebration, and Allisons.

The consumption of new green grape varieties, meanwhile, has gone up significantly in the past two or three years, thanks to better appearance and taste than traditional varieties, Poulos said.

Sourcing grapes from many different growing regions — Oppy also ships fruit grown in California, South Africa and India — minimizes the risks of unpredictable weather, which Poulos said has been noticeably increasing in recent years.

Another trend in grapes Oppy is tracking closely is surging demand for snacking products, which in grapes means branded produce.

“We’re thrilled to market Ocean Spray grapes, which harness 96% brand awareness and high purchase intent,” he said. “The Ocean Spray label stands out on the shelf because it’s been recognized as high quality for decades. This has been, and will continue to be, an important factor in advancing consumption.”

This article is an excerpt from the March 2024 issue of Supermarket Perimeter. You can read the entire Grapes feature and more in the digital edition here.