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Tail end of season affected by sluggish demand

US: Chile important player blueberry imports

“Right now, we are finishing up our Chilean blueberry program”, says Mike Bowe with Dave’s Specialty Imports. Dave’s imports blueberries from four different countries during the US off-season. “Although we represent blueberry growers throughout the United States, imports are our forte”, said Bowe. The Chilean import season was good, but the tail end was affected by cold weather in the Northeastern part of the US. “Demand was terrible”, commented Bowe. It resulted in a lower than average movement and considerably lower prices. “Prices are down about 20 to 30 percent compared to last year.”

Blueberries have summer image
Traditionally, demand for blueberries slows down during the winter months. Although the product is available on the retail shelves 52 weeks a year, use and consumption is not as strong during the winter months as it is during the domestic summer months. The recent cold weather in the northeast kept everyone indoors, resulting in a further decline in demand. “In recent years, health benefits have really driven blueberry demand”, said Bowe. “If we could change the consumer mindset of blueberries being a spring/summer type of fruit, consumption has the potential to further increase. Chile is a large producer of blueberries and could easily handle a surge in US consumption during our winter time”, said Bowe.

Light domestic supplies
Domestic blueberry production is just starting and supplies are very light right now. Dave’s Specialty Imports works with growers throughout the United States. “While we consider ourselves one of the larger blueberry import companies, we are working on developing our domestic programs.” Dave’s blueberries are distributed to different parts of the US. “The biggest concentration is available in Tennessee, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. We also sell in the Northeast and Midwest”, added Bowe.

For more information:
Mike Bowe
Dave’s Specialty Imports
Tel: (+1) 305-603-7988

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