Blueberries being sold for higher prices per pound

From Fresh Plaza | 15 June 2023

Overview of blueberries in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on June 14, 2023. 

Supplies of blueberries look to be better compared to this time last year. “Weather issues last year in both Georgia and North Carolina hurt overall industry volumes, but it has looked better this season and more balanced,” says Ryan Lockman, vice-president of sales and procurement for grower-owned cooperative North Bay Produce.

Currently, the U.S. domestic crop is transitioning between the Southern Highbush crops and the Northern Highbush crops from the Northern growing regions. “Except for Florida, the southeast has been running somewhat early this year in both Georgia and North Carolina. As we move North with the Eastern supply, timing looks to be normalizing,” he says. “We are hopeful the same will happen in the Pacific Northwest as we are currently running a little late.”

Right now, the supply is coming from Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, California, Mexico and Peru.

Growing blueberry consumption

As for demand, it’s very good at the moment and Lockman hopes that will continue. “As long as the quality remains good and promotions are in place, consumers will continue to purchase and hopefully come back for more as we move through the regions of production,” he says. To help fuel demand and interest at retail, North Bay now offers its 12×9.8oz clamshells of Jumbo blueberries year-round.

All of this has made for a very strong blueberry market throughout the past six months. “We are seeing more fruit being sold for higher prices per pound than we have ever seen before, especially and mainly during the peak production periods,” says Lockman. “There is an underlying demand that has been constant and is very encouraging in signaling a growth in consumption.”

Looking ahead, as the industry moves to the Northern growing regions of New Jersey, Michigan, Oregon, Washington and B.C., good crops are anticipated following a pollination period that seemed to be positive. Lockman says during the summer season, 18oz, 24oz and 2# promotional opportunities will be available. “Rain seems to be the biggest need across all of the upcoming regions for the industry to set up the best sizing and quality,” he adds.

blueberry prices by hist

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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