Supplies of domestic blueberries are very strong right now.
“We’re anticipating an excellent season of Ocean Spray blueberries from the Pacific Northwest this summer in both conventional and organic,” says Jason Fung, vice president of the berry and greenhouse categories for the Vancouver, Canada-based Oppenheimer Group. “Supply out of the Pacific Northwest is more or less in line with where it was last year.”
Berry supplies are coming from a variety of regions including Oregon, Washington and British Columbia on the West Coast and New Jersey and Michigan in the East.
Solid consumer demand
Strong volume is being met by equally strong demand for blueberries. And it’s demand that’s increasing by double-digit percentages annually, adds Fung. “I see blueberry consumption continuing to grow, especially in what was historically the shoulder periods each year. As programs develop throughout the Southern Hemisphere and moderate plantings occur in the Northern Hemisphere, overall supply will help to drive availability and consumption,” says Fung. “Look for new varieties in all areas to really start to drive the consistency of the consumer experience in the future.”
The market for blueberries has picked up over the past few weeks and it seems as though that may just continue. “We are anticipating it to come back to its historical norms for July and August—which translates into some excellent promotional opportunities,” says Fung, adding that those opportunities include promoting bigger packs moving later into July. “18oz and 2lb clamshells will help drive volume and tonnage through the tills and add value to the consumer,” he says.