Ocean Spray Cranberries, the US cranberry co-operative, is looking to push the Japanese market. A 2 million barrel glut in the United States has encouraged cranberry growers to develop markets elsewhere. A spokesman for Ocean Spray Cranberries announced that the company will spend about $1 million to promote its cranberries in Japan this year, up from $250,000 last year. A portion of the money will pay for Japanese versions of studies done elsewhere that showed cranberries to be effective in fighting heart disease, gum disease, urinary tract infections, and other ailments. The Japanese market has been growing year on year and from September 1999 to August 2000, U.S. exports of cranberries to Japan increased sevenfold to 3,800 tons per year, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Prices for cranberries have dropped an average of 85 per cent from the 1997 harvest to the $10 per barrel expected for this autumn's harvest. The average cost of production is $35 per barrel.