USHBC Selects Sterling-Rice Group To Lead Food Service Program

Folsom, Calif./Boulder, Colo., December 3, 2019  – The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) has named the Sterling-Rice Group (SRG) as its agency of record with responsibility for integrated food service marketing and promotional activities for the council and the blueberry industry.

SRG was awarded the USHBC account following a comprehensive review process that attracted many high-profile agencies around the country and was narrowed to a final group of four. The decision to hire SRG was made by the council’s Promotion Committee, a group of blueberry growers and marketers. 

“SRG came in with a distinctive approach to working with us as a business partner to help us drive the volume of sales of fresh and frozen blueberries,” explained Bob Carini, owner of Carini Farms in West Olive, Michigan, and chair of the USHBC Promotion Committee. “They have an impressive track record of working with and connecting commodities with large food service operators, finding creative ways to grow the channel and working with chefs to develop new ways for consumers to enjoy blueberries across the menu and in different formats throughout the day.”

“This is an exciting opportunity and change for USHBC’s promotion and marketing efforts within the food service channel,” shared Kasey Cronquist, president of USHBC. “We’re looking forward to working with the team at SRG on volume-driving opportunities over the next two years.” 

On behalf of USHBC, SRG will build an integrated program that leverages research and insights, culinary innovation, promotional support and advertising to reach key decision-makers within the food service industry to grow volume and increase sales. 

This B2B approach has helped the agency grow sales and volume for many global brands and U.S. commodity boards such as Avocados From Mexico, the Almond Board of California and Potatoes USA.

“We work extensively with growers and ranchers around the globe and understand their issues and priorities,” explained Amy Shipley, partner and managing director at SRG. “Our understanding and experience working in food service and with restaurant operators directly will help us create a wide range of initiatives for the USHBC that will be measured across the food service channel in sales, not media impressions. The bottom line is what’s important to the growers.”

SRG’s first project for the USHBC will be to conduct a volumetric study to determine how many blueberries are being sold across food service and to identify opportunities for expansion.

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 About The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council

Established in 2000, The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) is a federal agriculture research and promotion program with independent oversight from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). USHBC represents blueberry growers and packers in North and South America who market their blueberries in the United States and overseas, and works to promote the growth and well-being of the entire blueberry industry. USHBC was established by blueberry growers and currently has 2,500 growers, packers and importers. USHBC is committed to providing blueberries that are grown, harvested, packed and shipped in clean, safe environments. Learn more at

About SRG

Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, SRG is a nationally recognized brand consultancy and creative agency. The agency has expertise in consumer and B2B insights, brand strategy and positioning, new product innovation, advertising, culinary and design. SRG has been ranked on Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work list for the past nine years and was also recognized by Ad Age as a 2016 and 2017 Best Place to Work.

 Contact: Toni Lee [email protected] 203-246-7524