USA: Waiting for the arrival of imported berries

Thanks to imported berries, American shoppers don't have to wait for summer to enjoy their favorite fruits, from bright blueberries to juicy blackberries and raspberries.

Market conditions are making berry imports even more desirable for retailers.

Fiscal year 2023 could see a sales increase of $5 billion for agricultural imports, according to the Outlook for US Agricultural Trade: November 2022 report, published by the USDA Economic Research Service and Foreign Agricultural Service. The USDA expects sales of imported horticultural products to reach a record $100 billion in 2022, including a $300 million increase for fresh fruit imports due to factors such as drought conditions in major fruit-producing regions of US and rising domestic production costs.

Another point in favor of foreign fruit is the strength of the US dollar, which makes imported agricultural products comparatively affordable for the US domestic market.

Fresh berries, in particular, are experiencing a huge increase in sales. From January to October 2022, the dollar value of fresh berry imports to the US was $3.900 billion, an increase of 11% over the same period last year.

Among berry export regions, South Asia experienced the highest dollar sales growth at 428%, though its actual dollar sales were some of the lowest at $59.000. The next highest sales percentage change was 29% from the European Union and 20% from Oceania, the region of thousands of islands in the central and southern parts of the Pacific Ocean, including Australia.

TIPS TO MAXIMIZE SALES OF FRESH BERRIES THROUGHOUT THE YEAR:

  • Customers love having options, so bring all the most popular varieties: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.
  • Shoppers are eating healthier these days and rising costs are inspiring families to look for better value in the produce section. Carry a variety of sizes to meet customer needs, from small packs to higher volume options.
  • Inspire customers to buy berries by adding toppings for your berry mixes or creating custom displays. These could include granola, biscuits, whipped cream, and other berry-friendly accessories.

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