Blueberry volumes coming on steadily

From Fresh Plaza | 3 May 2022

Overview of blueberries in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on April 29, 2022. 

Supplies look to be picking up on blueberries.

“Florida started a few weeks earlier than last year. Mexico’s volume is up over last year,” says Helena Beckett of Giddings Berries USA located in Monterey, California. She notes that the majority of blueberry supplies right now are coming from Mexico and Florida. “The quality has improved since the start of the year and we have observed excellent quality at store level.”

blueberry volumes by ori 15

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

She notes that generally Mexico supplies blueberries until June, depending on how the quality is maintaining and what other volumes other growing regions have.

At the same time, Florida, who’s been in production for several weeks now, will finish up likely in the coming weeks and Georgia is also starting its production.

Demand growing steadily too

Meanwhile demand of course continues to grow as does overall consumption of blueberries. Beckett says even with the strong California strawberry crop coming on, the items elevate each other from a consumer demand perspective. “It depends on what the ad space is and if there’s a great ad on strawberries, you might spend all your dollars there,” she says.

One trend that did emerge thanks to the pandemic and may or may not continue is the availability of larger pack sizes such as 18 oz. and even 2 lb. packs. “Part of it was the pandemic lifestyle and part of it was that year over year, we have more blueberries available in general. So more often than not, we are seeing the larger packs promoted than we have in the past,” she says, noting they’re generally promoted in the summer when there are greater volumes of blueberries available.

blueberry prices by pack

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

As for pricing, Beckett says it’s multi-tiered. “For domestic blueberries, Florida and Georgia will probably get a premium over imported fruit,” she says. “It has come down since the start of the domestic season, and we will probably see more ad pricing in May once California production comes on. Towards the end of May and June the price comes down as the volume goes up. It’s generally ad pricing through the summer.”

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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