My brother read an article in The Economist about cranberries a few years ago.Since then I have been fascinated by cranberries.
Some interesting points:
- Along with the Concord grape and the blueberry, cranberries are one of only three fruits native to North America.
- Cranberries float which makes them very easy to harvest by flooding the fields and allowing the cranberries to float to the top of the water where they are then scooped out.
- Up until the 1950’s most cranberry production was used for cranberry sauce but there was a pesticide scare and the public stopped eating cranberry sauce except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Ocean Spray, the largest grower, decided to develop a new market for cranberry juice and in a business school case study worthy effort targeted doctors and bartenders to introduce the juice to the population. Doctors were given seminar touting the herbal properties of cranberries like anti-oxidants while bartenders were introduced to special cocktails.
- In the 1980’s Ocean Spray developed technology to get the juice out without crushing the berries. Distilled water was pushed into the hulls, and juice passed osmotically out. The result was juice, plus a whole, water-filled hull. They then developed a prcoess to re-infuse the berries with juice from blueberries, mangoes, raspberries or whatever and created “flavoured fruit pieces”.