Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.
TypeAgricultural marketing cooperative
Founded1930; 91 years ago in Hanson, Massachusetts
FoundersElizabeth Lee, John Makepeace, and Marcus Urann[1]

Lakeville-Middleborough, Massachusetts


United States

Key people

Tom Hayes, President and CEO[2]
ProductsCranberries, grapefruit
Revenue$2 billion[3]

Number of employees


Ocean Spray is an American agricultural cooperative of growers of cranberries and grapefruit headquartered in Plymouth County, Massachusetts. It currently has over 700 member growers (in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, Florida, British Columbia and other parts of Canada, as well as Chile). The cooperative employs about 2,000 people, with sales of $1.2 billion in fiscal year 2013 and accounts for 70% of North American cranberry production.[4] Their products include cranberry sauce, fruit juices, fruit snacks, and dried cranberries.

The cooperative has made a number of innovations, including the first juice blend,[5] the first juice boxes,[6] and sweetened dried cranberries (Craisins). Its cranberry juice won the ChefsBest Award for best taste.[7]


Ocean Spray was formed in 1930, in Hanson, Massachusetts, by three cranberry growers who wanted to expand their market for cranberries. Led by growers Marcus L. Urann, Elizabeth F. Lee and John C. Makepeace, who had created a cranberry sauce, the cooperative developed more cranberry-based products. In the same year Ocean Spray became the first producer of cranberry juice drinks with the introduction of Cranberry Juice Cocktail. (A.D. Makepeace Company, one of the original founders of Ocean Spray, has been in continual operation since the late 19th century and is currently the worlds largest grower of cranberries.)

In 1963, executive Edward Gelsthorpe worked with Sylvia Schur to develop Cranapple juice, a product that brought the cranberry to greater popularity and increased usage to year-round, earning Gelsthorpe the nickname Cranapple Ed.[8]

In 1976, the cooperative expanded its membership to grapefruit growers in Florida.


In September 2004, Ocean Spray agreed to purchase the processing assets of Northland Cranberry.[9] This acquisition included a juice production facility in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.[10]

In June 2004, Ocean Spray members voted down a joint venture of the cooperatives beverage business with PepsiCo.[11] Pepsi had offered the co-op $100 million, an assumption of debt and fixed prices for cranberry harvests. In July 2006, the cooperative signed a 25-year single-serve (machine-dispensed) juice distribution deal with Pepsi.[12]


Ocean Spray product exhibited in Israel in 2016

Ocean Spray completed expansion of the Wisconsin Rapids processing plant in September 2008. The addition doubles the facility size to 440,000 sq ft (41,000 m2)., making it the worlds largest cranberry processing facility. The plant has numerous environmentally friendly features including a wastewater treatment facility, energy-efficient lighting, and the use of methane from the nearby Veolia Cranberry Creek Landfill for boiler fuel. With the addition, the plant will produce Craisins, in addition to currently produced juice concentrates.[13]

Throughout 2012, Ocean Spray contributed $387,100 to a $46 million political campaign known as The Coalition Against The Costly Food Labeling Proposition, sponsored by Farmers and Food Producers.[14] This organization was set up to oppose a citizens initiative, known as Proposition 37, demanding mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients.

Ocean Spray has juice-filling facilities in Henderson, Nevada; Sulphur Springs, Texas; Allentown, Pennsylvania; and Kenosha, Wisconsin.[15]

In October 2020, Ocean Spray made national headline news when Nathan Apodaca made a TikTok video that went viral featuring the Fleetwood Mac 1977 hit Dreams while drinking a bottle of Ocean Spray and riding his skateboard.[16]


In June 2006, at the request of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Ocean Spray agreed to end its support for animal experiments. Previously, Ocean Spray had funded tests involving infecting mice with H. pylori, bacteria that cause stomach ulcers, and then feeding them cranberry juice to see if it had any positive effect. These experiments were conducted to determine the usefulness of Ocean Sprays cranberry juice as a digestif.[17]

In January 2020, Ocean Spray settled a class-action lawsuit that claimed its products were misleading in advertising that they do not contain artificial flavors, since they contain malic acid and/or fumaric acid. The company agreed to pay $5.4 million dollars to claimants.[18][19]

In February 2020, Ocean Spray fired its president and CEO, Bobby Chacko, for violating the companys harassment policy.[20]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Our Story. Ocean Spray.
  2. ^ Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. Names Tom Hayes President and Chief Executive Officer (Press release). Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. July 20, 2020.
  3. ^ https://www.owler.com/company/oceanspray
  4. ^ Nosowitz, Dan (November 22, 2017). The Cranberry Industry Is Wild. Modern Farmer. Retrieved November 25, 2017.
  5. ^ Who We Are - Heritage - Our History. Ocean Spray. 2014. Archived from the original on January 10, 2015. Retrieved December 26, 2014.[self-published source]
  6. ^ Pressman, Aaron (May 15, 2006). Ocean Sprays Creative Juices. Businessweek. Archived from the original on December 30, 2014. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
  7. ^ Ocean Spray 100% Juice Cranberry Blends. ChefsBest. Archived from the original on December 26, 2014. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
  8. ^ Grimes, William (September 27, 2009). Edward Gelsthorpe, Master Marketer, Dies at 88. The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 25, 2014. Retrieved September 29, 2009.
  9. ^ Ocean Spray buys Northlands processing assets. Company News. The New York Times. September 25, 2004. Archived from the original on October 24, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2008.
  10. ^ Northland sells cranberry processing business to Ocean Spray. The Business Journal of Milwaukee. September 24, 2004. Archived from the original on October 13, 2004. Retrieved March 30, 2008.
  11. ^ Konrad, Alex (November 13, 2013). Bigger Than Craisins: Can A Third Way To Sell Cranberries Keep Ocean Spray Fresh?. Forbes. Archived from the original on December 26, 2014. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
  12. ^ Montague-Jones, Guy (October 21, 2009). Ocean Spray extends Pepsi partnership beyond cranberry. Beverage Daily. Archived from the original on February 19, 2016. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
  13. ^ Hayes, Liz (September 23, 2008). Expansion Makes Rapids Ocean Spray Largest Cranberry Processer in World. WSAW-TV. Retrieved October 6, 2008.
  14. ^ Spiers, Katherine (July 9, 2012). Prop 37: The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act. KCET. Archived from the original on July 3, 2013.
  15. ^ Kostelni, Natalie (April 24, 2014). Ocean Spray opens facility in Pennsylvanias Lehigh Valley - Philadelphia Business Journal. Philadelphia Business Journal. Archived from the original on June 30, 2014. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  16. ^ Nathan Apodaca is the skateboarding, Fleetwood Mac-loving TikTok star that 2020 needs. Los Angeles Times. October 2, 2020. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  17. ^ Goodman, Brenda (May 31, 2007). Pepsi and Coke Agree to Stop Financing Research That Uses Animals. The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 5, 2015. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
  18. ^ Classaura Announces No Artificial Flavors Litigation Class Action Settlement. Associated Press. February 27, 2020. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  19. ^ Stempel, Jonathan (November 11, 2019). Ocean Spray to pay $5.4 mln to settle no artificial flavors lawsuit. Reuters. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  20. ^ Ocean Spray fires CEO for violating policy against harassment. CBS News. February 4, 2020. Retrieved September 16, 2020.

External links[edit]

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