Montreal, May 26, 2015 – Knowing when the first Quebec strawberries will hit grocery store shelves is not an exact science. Late frosts, rain accumulation, and low temperatures can influence the crop, so knowing exactly when the coveted berries will arrive in store is almost impossible. IGA, in collaboration with l’Association des producteurs de fraises et framboises du Québec (Quebec strawberry and raspberry producers), is challenging consumers to predict when the first Quebec strawberries will arrive at IGA, beginning June 1st.
Quebec strawberries – worth the wait
Every year IGA merchants are asked why strawberries from south of the border are still on the shelves when strawberry season has already started in Quebec. The reason is simple: there's a transition period during which the quantity of strawberries produced in Quebec is insufficient to meet the demand of Quebec consumers. Once Quebec strawberry production is running at full capacity, customers will find mainly and often only Quebec strawberries in IGA stores.
"During strawberry season, consumers often want to know where the strawberries at the store come from, especially early on in the season," explains Yourianne Plante, executive director of the Association des producteurs de fraises et framboises du Québec. "Though it sometimes happens that strawberries from outside Quebec find their way back onto shelves due to weaker production or a pique in consumer demand, we know that IGA, who wants nothing more than to offer its customers this top quality product, makes buying Quebec-grown strawberries a priority."
Strawberry producers Louis Bélisle and Louis Gosselin, from the north shore of Montreal (St-Eustache) and Quebec City (Île d’Orléans) respectively, agree. "I'm always estimating when the strawberries I’m picking will be at their freshest once they’ve made it into consumers' refrigerators," says Gosselin. "And thanks to a wonderful partnership with the team at IGA that's spanned many years, I can concentrate on what's important – offering a quality product."
The joy of eating better... local strawberries!
For Marie-Noëlle Cano, director of communications and sustainable development at Sobeys Québec, it is completely natural to do things right and offer as many local strawberries to our customers as possible. "We work closely with strawberry producers to offer our consumers excellent fruit. IGA has made it a priority to continue being Quebecers’ go-to destination for local products. And it's one of the pillars of our Joy of Eating Better movement which is currently celebrating its first anniversary."
To enter the contest IGA is going berry-crazy: When will the first Quebec strawberries arrive at IGA? to win baskets of strawberries for the entire season, Quebecers are invited to visit the Fraîches du Québec website beginning June 1st.
IGA is the largest group of independent grocers in Canada, and its presence in Quebec dates to 1953. All 285 IGA retailers constantly seek new ways to serve their customers better, and IGA is the only group of grocers to offer customers the opportunity to collect AIR MILES® reward miles. The IGA banner groups together four store concepts: IGA, IGA extra, IGA express, and IGA mini. Moreover, IGA is the only group of food retailers to offer consumers the opportunity to accumulate AIR MILE® reward miles.
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About Fraiches du Québec
The largest producer of strawberries in Canada and the third in North America, Quebec has close to 600 companies grouped under the Association des producteurs de fraises et framboises du Québec. When you see the Fraîches du Québec label, whether it’s in grocery stores, at roadside kiosks, or pick-your-own berry farms, you know you’re getting exceptionally fresh and tasty berries from one of our many reputed berry producers throughout the province!
Find a producer at www.lesfraichesduquebec.com
For information, contact:
514-324-1010, ext. 2158