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US(MA): Processed cranberry prices low, but demand growing

Good yields for cranberry growers in Massachusetts have made for plentiful supplies from that state, though lower-than-expected yields in Wisconsin and Canada have evened out North American production for the year. But because there's a surplus of concentrate for the processed market, cranberry prices in that sector remain low, though demand has grown in other areas.

“With Massachusetts up, and Wisconsin and Canada down, production somewhat evens out,” said Patrick Rhodes with Cape Cod Select. “Whereas, if all of the big three regions had high yields, then we'd have a bigger problem with over supply.” As a result, supplies are about where growers and processors expected them to be, though there's been an oversupply on the processed side for several years.

About 10 years ago, there was an industry push to produce more cranberries, and it wasn't until about five years ago when this led to a surplus. Since then, prices on the processed side have remained low. That's affected smaller growers, and some of them have either reduced acreage or stopped growing cranberries.

A bright spot for the industry is that there's growing demand for cranberry products in general. Though most of the demand comes from Thanksgiving and Christmas, a growing awareness of the health benefits associated with eating cranberries has increased sales during the other 10 months of the year. Demand for cranberry juice, however, is waning because of consumer concerns about the sugar content of the juice.

“Demand is growing from an increasingly health-conscious market,” said Rhodes. “More products are including cranberries as ingredients such as granola bars, yogurts, and smoothies. So, in that aspect, there is still a growth potential.”

For more information:
Patrick Rhodes
Cape Cod Select
+1 508 866 1149

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