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The Wall Street Journal: Driscoll’s desperately needs to know how many strawberries America wants

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Panorama of a city business district with office buildings and skyscrapers and superimposed data, charts and diagrams related to stock market, currency exchange and global finance. Blue line graphs with numbers and exchange rates, candlestick charts and financial figures fill the image with a glowing light. Sunset light.

Just over a year ago, Soren Bjorn, who helps run the world’s biggest berry company, made a bad call.

Demand for fresh berries was falling as the onset of a pandemic shut restaurants, while grocers focused on keeping staples in stock. Mr. Bjorn, president of the Americas division of Driscoll’s Inc., told farmers in California to plant fewer strawberries.

Then, Americans stuck at home went on a berry binge. Strawberry demand surged.

This March, Mr. Bjorn made the opposite decision, telling farms to increase their strawberry acres when they plant the crop this fall. Those acres won’t yield berries until next spring. “The world will change three times over between now and then,” Mr. Bjorn said.

An expanded version of this article appears on WSJ.com.

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