Strawberry consumption grows while imports surge

From The Packer | 23 June 2023

Overview of strawberries in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on June 22, 2023. 

Strawberry consumption continues to surge, according to data from the USDA.

Retail per capita availability of strawberries has grown from 5.3 pounds in 2016 to 6.7 pounds in 2021, according to the USDA.

Both domestic and import supplies of strawberries have increased in the past two decades, but the growth of imports has been much stronger.

The USDA estimates that domestic strawberry output increased from 1.77 billion pounds in 2016 to 2.17 billion pounds in 2021, a gain of 23% in that five-year period.

At the same time, imports of strawberries increased 43% from 2016 to 2021, rising from 365 million pounds in 2016 to 521 million pounds in 2021.

As a percent of the total strawberry supply in the U.S., the USDA reports that imports accounted for 19% of the total supply in 2021, up from 17% in 2016 and up from just 7% in 2000.

strawberry volumes by ty

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

The peak month for domestic strawberry availability in 2022 was May, when shipments accounted for 15% of the total annual supply. Other top months for strawberry shipments include June (14%), April (11%), July (11%) and March (9%). The month with the smallest domestic shipments in 2022 was December, when just 3% of the domestic annual volume was shipped, according to USDA truck shipment data for conventional fruit.

Imported strawberry volume, dominated by Mexico, is active year-round. However, the top months for strawberry imports were February (18% of total annual volume), March (18%), January (16%) and April (14%). The smallest import volumes were recorded in August and September, which both accounted for less than 1% of the total imported annual volume.

According to the USDA retail report, the top weeks for strawberry promotions in 2022 were:

May 6: 15,447 stores promoting at an average price of $1.92.

July 1: 14,485 stores promoting at an average price of $1.65.

Feb. 25: 12,036 stores promoting at an average price of $1.85.

Feb. 11: 11,668 stores promoting at an average price of $2.13.

March 11: 11,482 stores promoting at an average price of $2.15.

July 29: 11,463 stores promoting at an average price of $1.73.

July 15: 11,040 stores promoting at an average price of $1.62.

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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