Blackberries are coming into a quieter time on demand which is meeting lower volumes in the industry. “Our suppliers have fruit. Historically the industry has less fruit at this time and it has been like that at this time of year for the last three or four years,” says Jose Saca of Wish Farms. “Crossings from Mexico this week are slightly lower than in the last two years.” He notes that normally there is quite a bit of volume crossing last week and this week. However, the combination of U.S. Thanksgiving and Revolution Day on Monday in Mexico could be behind the slowdown.
Along with Mexico, there is a small amount of fruit shipping from Guatemala.
As for demand, Saca says it’s not bad. “It could be better. We’re in a good position and we’re seeing a lot of traction on the blackberries coming out of a strong domestic season. Blackberries have had a good year so far and now would be a good time for retailers to promote,” he says.
More space for blackberries?
Given the recent tightness on strawberry supplies combined with the ample blueberry supplies in the marketplace, retailers are shifting their berry displays slightly. “Because they have the space for berries, blueberries are filling the space and then also blackberries and raspberries,” says Saca.
As for pricing, from week 34 until last week, prices were higher than they’ve been in the last four to five years.
Looking ahead, demand may be challenged between now and New Year’s. “Most people are thinking about Christmas gifts and maybe eating out more and not cooking and eating at home as much,” says Saca. “But this happens every year.”