A Berry Good Trip to Wisconsin
I don’t think I ever thought I would be wading in a cranberry marsh, but holy cow was that cool or what?! My job takes me to some pretty cool experiences I wouldn’t have otherwise, and this trip to Wisconsin with Carmex was no exception. I truly love brand trips because they’re such an immersive, personal experience that allows you to get to know the company, the people behind the product, and the product itself in a way you just can’t from email exchanges.
For those of you who don’t know the Carmex brand somehow from their iconic yellow tins, they are a family-owned company that just celebrated their 80th anniversary! I partnered with them to share more about their recently launched Carmex SuperCran™ Lip Butter, which uses a 100% natural formula to make your lips smoother and hydrated because it is such an awesome product. I also love that it’s cruelty-free and an affordable price point ($3.99) for a clean beauty product. It uses the cold-pressed cranberry seed oil (filled with antioxidants, omegas, and vitamins) from over 300 Wisconsin cranberries in just one stick, hence this amazing cranberry-themed trip!
So, let’s dive right in (I’m so punny) to the cranberry marsh, and I want to share with you guys some fun facts about cranberry harvesting (P.S. Carmex didn’t even ask me to share this, I just am a big nerd and love learning where our food and products come from!) and to show you more behind the scenes of our trip!
About Cranberry Harvesting
Wisconsin is the nation’s leading producer of cranberries, harvesting about 60% of the country’s crop— hence, the perfect fruit to use for a new product by a local family business like Carmex.
Cranberries are a perennial plant and contrary to what most of you guys all probably are imagining because of the photos, they do not grow in water! They actually grow on low running vines in sandy marshes. BUT, cranberries have this beautiful little hollow center of 4 chambers (pictured below) that allows them to float— this is why farmers flood the marshes to more easily gather them after they go through the marsh with a picking machine with tines to pop the berries off the vines.
I included some amazing photos of the harvesting process below!
Going from Harvest to Stick: Embracing Natural
I love seeing heritage brands like Carmex listening to their consumers needs and heading in a natural direction— and I especially appreciate when they make natural products that are at a more accessible price point. There is an association of natural products with a high price point, and it can definitely seem this way with a lot of brands out there with high prices for products. It’s understandable, as producing fresh products with no artificial ingredients can be much more costly for a company; so that’s why when I see a brand that already has the infrastructure and means to produce a natural product that is more accessible and they choose to do so, I’m a huge fan.
Usually in other products, cranberries are just used for their juice; but I love that Carmex uses the cranberry seeds to maximize use of the superfruit, cold-pressing the seeds to produce the oil that goes into the SuperCran Lip Butter so that it’s zero waste— AND it’s a fruit that is local to their business, supporting the local economy, as well. I absolutely loved getting to also meet the President of Carmex, Paul Woelbing, who is the third generation of his family to oversee the company, and also Jona Mancuso, the VP of Marketing. Not only were they extremely kind, but they genuinely wanted our honest feedback on the product, the brand, and to hear our thoughts on the direction of the industry and natural products.
Just put some cranberries on it
Now for the visit to the marsh itself— it was so much fun, and what an experience to be walking around in a floating sea of cranberries! I was mildly concerned that the water was going to be too high for short little me, but thankfully the waders worked out. I went in with my friend Stephanie, of Collection of Vials, and we just had so much fun in there.
Also, two personal fun facts you may not know if you’ve never been in a cranberry marsh— walking around in the waders on the marsh vines are super funny! It feels like you’re kind of on a moonbounce or soft trampoline of vines. Also, fresh cranberries literally right from the vine taste WORLDS different than even local farmer’s market cranberries I’ve eaten fresh— they’re so much less bitter and dry, and actually feel like a little crisp apple. They tasted so good, I definitely snuck a few as a snack!
Then the next day was such a fun day dedicated to wellness and getting crafty! We started off with some yoga on the rooftop of the Graduate Hotel, then headed off to Revel, where we met up with some local Wisconsin bloggers and got to essentially do arts and crafts all afternoon— it was such a fun treat and way to close out our amazing trip.
Special thanks to Carmex for sponsoring this post!
As always, thanks to you guys for supporting the brands that support this site!!
All photography in this post by Nick Argires.