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Regional shifts and peaks ahead on berry supplies

Supply is looking good on blueberries. At the same time, blackberries and raspberries are coming into their peak availability in Mexico.

Blueberries: The domestic season is underway for blueberries as Mexican production winds down. "The Southeast production is really starting to ramp up," says Jyoti Bhogal, VP of sales & marketing for Berry Fresh. "That's Georgia and Florida and California organics have kicked in and should have some good volumes." He does note that hail issues in California might affect some of the state's early volume. However, the main part of the crop looks good and a good season is expected.

As for demand, it's strong for blueberries though Bhogal notes that that strength is now seen year-round for blueberries. Following the shortage out of Peru, retails have been higher and the demand has stayed where it is. "To reach more consumers as volume comes on, the price may come down," he adds.

He also adds that blueberries are reaching a wider socioeconomic background–not surprising given increasing supply is making the fresh berry more accessible. "We're also in more markets in more parts of the country," he says.

Blackberries: Sweet Karoline®, a blackberry co-owned by Berry Fresh, will see supply heading into its peak in May and that should last for four weeks. Production of the variety is in Mexico and promotions are also happening to take advantage of the peak supply. "The season should wind down around mid-June," adds Bhogal.

Demand is strong for this variety and exceeds supply. "It's a specialty variety and the market has spoken on high-flavored blackberries–especially when you compare it to the regular blackberry varieties," says Bhogal, adding that other varieties can be tart or see inconsistent flavor or break down faster.

Raspberries: Berry Fresh is also heading into the peak of its raspberry supply from Mexico on its Daniela proprietary variety. That peak should also last for four weeks. "We'll wind down then and then domestic production will take over," Bhogal says, noting that raspberry demand is also strong due to a shortage of supply for almost three months.

For more information:
Laudan Chaffin
Berry Fresh
[email protected]