This year, growers in Wisconsin, USA, cultivated about 30% fewer cranberries. "That's because of the combination of a warmer April and colder-than-usual May. The heat caused the cranberries to start growing earlier. And the cold May, which had frosts, damaged some of the fruit. So, those aren't suitable for the fresh market. Also, the kg yield per field was lower due to this cold," says buyer Bram Klapwijk of Nature's Pride.
"There's usually plenty of suitable fruit for the fresh market in a normal year. This year, however, thanks to the weather, that's not the case. Only a few growers have enough good-quality fruit available for the fresh market. About 95% of the cranberries grown in Wisconsin are destined for the industry anyway. The shortages are already clearly noticeable there."
"In the fresh market, there aren't obvious shortages yet. Sales during the first part of the season have been good. However, most fresh cranberries are sold between week 49 and week 52. This year's December demand is, however, noticeably higher than usual," says Bram.
Nature's Pride is one of the largest fresh cranberry importers in Northern Europe. "We're very proud of the partnerships with our dedicated growers in North America and Canada. That allows us to let more and more European consumers enjoy the tastiest cranberries. We have sufficient volume programmed with these dedicated growers this year."
"They specialize in harvesting cranberries for the fresh market. Some cranberry growers normally focus on cranberry production for the industry. They sometimes add some for the fresh market. These growers won't have cranberries available for the fresh market this year. That will probably be felt in the market. And it will affect the number of suppliers," Bram concludes.
Canapés with cranberry paté