Driscoll’s: Over 100 Years of Berry History
Presented by Driscoll's
PHOTO COURTESY OF DRISCOLL'S
It’s been over a century of family farms, dedicated to the land, each other and the berry goodness brought fresh to your table. You can taste the love and commitment Driscoll’s puts into every berry as it’s carefully chosen, cultivated and eventually enjoyed by your family. From around the world to your backyard, every one of their berries are brought up to be the finest, shining example of what a berry can be. It all began with two family farms, and one juicy strawberry.
- Late 1800s: The Reiter and Driscoll families begin growing strawberries in California.
- 1904 : Brothers-in-law, Joseph “Ed” Reiter and Richard “Dick” Driscoll, planted the first commercial field of Sweetbriar variety strawberries on the Cassin Ranch in Watsonville, California in 1904. The families plant a variety of strawberries discovered in a visit to Sweetbriar, a town in northern California. These new strawberries become known as Banner berries for the banner around their boxes.
- 1921: On August 13th, 1921, the first train car of Banner berries was shipped to Chicago and was met personally by Ed Reiter. Unfortunately, the berries did not weather the trip well; however, two critical realization came from Ed's visit: the importance of precooling the berries prior to shipment and packing only the most select fruit.
- 1944: Members of the Driscoll and Reiter families establish the Strawberry Institute to privately breed berry plants.
- 1980’s: The company starts to sell blueberries and blackberries in response to acquisition offers from three major fruit companies. The company also commits to supplying berries year round, forcing them to grow outside of California.
- 1982: At this time, Driscoll's also started marketing and selling berries in a yellow plastic basket after an in-store test at Safeway Seattle where the yellow baskets outsold green baskets bearing the same exact fruit, 2:1. The yellow has been a signature brand mark of Driscoll's ever since.
- 1990’s: Driscoll’s began expanding into countries beyond the US in order to better grow quality berries year round. In 2012, Driscoll’s expanded into China, marking berry production in six continents.
- 2016: Driscoll’s launched its first rebrand in 100 years to celebrate the connection berries have to evoking happiness when consumed. Driscolls.com/Share-The-Berry-Joy
- 2017: Driscoll’s names Twin Cities the top raspberry loving place in America and launches the #BerryTogether campaign at Mears Park in St. Paul with a 3D experiential art installation that requires people to come together to receive a reward. The concept of the installation supports the idea that berries are better when shared together. See the installation here.