Agronometrics Shorts: Jumbo-size Berries Expected to Quickly Gain Market Relevance – Rabobank

By Agronometrics | 9 November 2023

Rabobank recently issued a comprehensive report on the global state of the fresh produce industry. The report delves into several crucial concepts, notably the significant impact of extreme weather conditions and the rising quality expectations for berries.

One prominent highlight of the report is the influence of weather extremes on supplies and prices across the globe, a subject extensively discussed during the IFPA2023 (International Fresh Produce Association’s Global Produce and Floral Show 2023) in October 2023. These weather anomalies have had far-reaching consequences, affecting the production and availability of various fruits such as blueberries, table grapes, and stone fruit. An illustrative example of this was the conspicuous absence of blueberries in numerous US supermarkets throughout the month of October. This can be attributed to the decline in Peru’s blueberry shipments in the marketing year 2023/24, primarily due to the adverse effects of a warm winter on yields. While this phenomenon can be mainly attributed to the El Niño phenomenon, the industry maintains its optimism for sustained growth in blueberry exports in the long term. In parallel, the report underscores the escalating quality standards set for berries. As the pace of demand growth in the United States and the European Union has tapered off in recent years, the emphasis on quality has surged. Within the context of the show, several prominent players in the blueberry sector showcased larger blueberries, often referred to as ‘jumbo-size’. These oversized berries are expected to make significant inroads into the market, not only aligning with consumer preferences but also offering operational advantages, including efficiency gains and cost reduction in production and harvesting. Meanwhile, the strawberry section at the show displayed its commitment to quality, with a noteworthy presentation of branded greenhouse-grown strawberries. Unlike Europe, greenhouse-grown strawberries represent a relatively recent development in the United States but are rapidly gaining prominence in the market.

Blueberry Volumes Prices
Strawberries Volumes Prices

Written by Sarah Ilyas

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