Think cranberries, and you can only be thinking of Ocean Spray, which accounts for an estimated 60% of the world supply of cranberry-derived foods and beverages. It produces a wide variety of beverages, sauces, dried 'craisins' and other products, which it exports to more than 50 countries. In 2021, it even entered the energy segment with Ocean Spray Wave, a caffeinated water with a dash of fruit juice, sold exclusively through Walmart. Ocean Spray's only significant competitor in cranberry juice is the much smaller Northland brand with whom it has had a long and often fractious rivalry. Ocean Spray distributes most of its products in North America itself. However since 2006 it has entrusted distribution of single-serve juices in the US and Canada to PepsiCo. Internationally, its products are for the most part marketed by local partners, including PepsiCo in some countries and Coca-Cola in others. The business is limited partly by its reliance upon cranberries (although it does also market grapefruit products), but mainly by its complicated corporate structure. It is an agricultural cooperative jointly owned by more than 700 independently minded cranberry growers located across the Northern United States and 40 grapefruit growers in Florida. The Ocean Spray organisation was founded in 1930 by three cranberry growers from Massachusetts, led by Marcus Urann, who had perfected a system for making shelf-stable cranberry sauce. Development of the business was hampered for years by in-fighting between the co-op's members as well as dramatic fluctuations in cranberry prices. It was brought under control in the 2000s by CEO Randy Papadellis. He stepped down in 2018 after 18 years with the company, and was succeeded by Bobby Chacko, previously president. However, Chacko was abruptly dismissed two years later for violating the company's anti-harassment policy. Former Tyson Foods leader Tom Hayes was eventually named as the company's new CEO in 2020. Revenues are around $2bn a year. Sales enjoyed an unusual surge during 2020 as a result of a social media explosion inspired by a TikTok video by longboarder Nathan 'Doggface' Apodaca, who filmed himself miming to Fleetwood Mac's 'Dreams' while drinking Ocean Spray juice.
Capsule checked 10th February 2021
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Who are the competitors of Ocean Spray? Ocean Spray's traditional competitors are rival juice giants Tropicana (owned by PepsiCo) and Minute Maid (owned by Coca-Cola). See Non Alcoholic Beverages Sector index for other companies
Historical profile information for Ocean Spray
Marketer Moves 5th April 2021: New chief commercial officer at Ocean Spray. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Adbrands Daily Update 22nd Oct 2020: The immense popularity of Nathan 'Doggface' Apodaca's 'Ocean Spray' TikTok video has caused sales of Ocean Spray juice to rocket, and also given a huge boost to streams of Fleetwood Mac's back catalogue. Doggface's original TikTok showed him longboarding along the freeway, chugging Ocean Spray and miming to Fleetwood Mac's track 'Dreams'. That laidback video has been seen more than 30m times, and inspired countless copycat videos, including versions from Ocean Spray CEO Tom Hayes and nods from Fleetwood Mac's Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, all chugging the company's cranberry juice. TikTok even created its own ad with the original and some of the best copy videos. Ocean Spray must be in raptures. You just can't buy publicity like that.
Adbrands Social Media 15th Jan 2019: "Act Tiny. Be Mighty". Ocean Spray's long-running comic growers duo finally got dropped last year along with agency Arnold Worldwide. A New Year brings a new start from Energy BBDO in Chicago, and it's a charming tale of family values and social responsibility, real footage overlaid with some cute animation. "We're excited to help build the iconic Ocean Spray brand in a new and authentic way," says Energy BBDO CCO Andres Ordonez. "By visiting the Ocean Spray farms, we got to experience, first-hand, the authentic passion and love that goes into growing these wonderful berries."Key to the brand's underlying message is the fact that Ocean Spray remains a cooperative enterprise, representing the interests of 700 or so independent cranberry (and grapefruit) farmers across America.
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